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SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2010

SAFAR 2, 1431 AH

NO: 14612

150 FILS

Japan veteran lawmaker won’t quit despite scandal

Obama pitches bank tax to recover bailout costs

‘Hurt Locker’ a blast at Critics Choice Award

Stylish Chelsea hammer Sunderland

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Kuwait needs security, not money from Iraq FM: Help Yemen to tackle Qaeda KUWAIT: Kuwait is not asking its former occupier Iraq to repay the multi-billiondollar debt but only for assurances on security and good neighbourhood, the Kuwaiti foreign minister has

said. “What we need from Iraq is security and assurances. We don’t want money which is the last thing on our mind,” Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah told Continued on Page 14

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama (left), former President Bill Clinton (center) and former President George W Bush (right) walk to the Rose Garden to speak about relief for Haiti at the White House yesterday. — AFP

Obama, Clinton and Bush launch appeal WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama, flanked by his predecessors George W Bush and Bill Clinton, yesterday said the two former presidents would lead a national drive to raise money for Haiti’s earthquake survivors. “By coming together in this way, these two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and to the people of the world. In these difficult hours, America stands united. We stand united with the people of Haiti,” Obama said. Haitian authorities believe as many as 200,000 died in

Tuesday’s earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation, prompting a worldwide humanitarian response as rescuers race against time to save people still trapped in the rubble. Obama, who has pledged an initial $100 million in quake relief, enlisted the help of Bill Clinton, a Democrat who is the United Nations’ special envoy for Haiti, and former President George W. Bush, the Republican who proceeded him the White House, to spearhead private sector fundraising efforts. Continued on Page 14

Haitians flee capital Aid trickling in • US takes control of airport • Death toll may hit 200,000 PORT-AU-PRINCE: Fearful Haitians fled their putrid quake-hit capital in droves as a vast international aid drive struggled yesterday to relieve tensions threatening to boil over into riots. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama yesterday declared one of the largest relief efforts in US history to help Haiti four days after an earthquake killed up to 200,000 people and devastated the Caribbean nation’s capital. Even as aid poured into wrecked Port-au-Prince, thousands of Haitians streamed out of the city on foot with suitcases on their heads or jammed into cars trying to reach the countryside to escape aftershocks and the threat of looting, and to find food, water and shelter. “I have waited for two days, but nothing has arrived, not even a bottle of water,” said Yves Manes, walking slowly toward a main route out of the coastal capital with his wife and two children. His wife limped with a gashed leg, wrapped in a bloodied T-shirt. “They say there are trucks taking people out of this hell. I have lost all my money, but I will give my clothes, I will give anything, to get out of here,” Manes said. Days after the quake, logjams still slowed relief reaching victims and gangs of robbers had begun preying on survivors struggling without supplies in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies. Obama promised help as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Haiti carrying relief aid and the shellshocked government gave the United States control over its main airport to bring order to aid flights from around the world. Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, has for years struggled with devastating storms, floods and political unrest. Around 9,000 UN peacekeepers have provided security in the country since a 2004 Continued on Page 14

PORT-AU-PRINCE: A man throws a dead body at the morgue of the general hospital Friday following the 7.0-magnitude quake that hit Haiti on Jan 12. — AFP

In Haiti, little separates life and death PORT-AU-PRINCE: The body lies on the side of the road that leads to and from Haiti’s capital city. It is a woman, sprawled on her back, her left hand draped over her forehead. Could she have fallen from a dump truck carrying bodies to nearby mass graves? Nobody seems to know or care. The buses whiz by, not stopping. Death is like that in Haiti. The dead - often killed in political coups or famine or natural disasters - do not shock the living. Especially now. People cover their noses with their shirts, say a prayer, and move on. There’s surviving to do.

But now, the demands of death are overtaking the resources of life in this devastated country. The morgue is running out of room. The crippled government doesn’t have enough trucks to collect the dead. And the Red Cross has run out of body bags, although more bodies are covered in sheets - or in nothing - than in bags. Haitian President Rene Preval said this week that 7,000 of the estimated 45,000-50,000 earthquake victims were buried in mass graves in recent days. Others are trying to bury their loved ones themselves in weed-filled

lots near busy streets. And death is not yet done - sick people are getting sicker, trapped people are giving up after three days of hope, and the rest are running out of food and water. In Carrefour, a shantytown south of Port-au-Prince, the bodies are being taken by the truckload to be burned easily more than 2,000, maybe more than 3,000, said civil protection coordinator Jean-Remy Bien-Aime. And indeed, people are burning bodies at a garbage dump next to the ocean. Someone has even dumped a casket into the big trash pile aflame with

Spain MP’s image used for Laden pic

Conservative named Brotherhood leader

CAIRO: Newly elected leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie looks on under the group’s logo during his first press conference yesterday. — AP

CAIRO: Egypt’s main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, named conservative Mohammed Badie as its new leader yesterday, in a move analysts said signals a switch to a less active role in politics. Badie, a veterinary professor at a southern university, was “chosen by consensus by members of the consultative council,” his predecessor Mohammed Akef told a press conference in Cairo. The Brotherhood is officially banned but controls a fifth of seats in the Egyptian parliament after it ran independent candidates in the last general election in 2005. Badie told reporters that the Brotherhood rejected violence and aimed to achieve gradual reforms. “We believe in incremental reform, and that takes places in a peaceful and constitutional way. We reject violence and denounce it in all its forms,” the new leader said. The group has affiliates in other Muslim states, some with official status, and the Egyptian Continued on Page 14

human wreckage. The gravesites are also springing up in the largely rural countryside that surrounds Port-au-Prince. They line the road leading away from the city, in a gruesome measure of misery instead of miles. At one spot, the dead are heaped in a pile, mixed in with deep red dirt and garbage. At another, the bloated bodies are scattered into giant pits. A backhoe waits nearby, but there is no driver. Four of the pits are still open, awaiting the new bodies that will surely come. Continued on Page 14

DHAMAR: Yemeni soldiers take part in a military parade yesterday. — AFP

Yemen nabs more militants SANAA: Yemen confirmed yesterday the deaths of six senior Al-Qaeda figures in an air strike a day earlier, while continuing its crackdown on the group by arresting three suspected militants. There had been conflicting reports on Friday about the identities of those killed when a warplane targeted a three-vehicle convoy, and whether any of the eight people on the ground had escaped. In a statement on its website, the interior ministry said Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) military boss Qassem AlRimi died when a missile hit his vehicle in the eastern part of Saada province. Also killed

were Ayed Al-Shabwani, Ammar Al-Waili, Saleh Al-Tais, Egyptian Ibrahim Mohammed Saleh Al-Banna and an unidentified sixth person, the ministry said. Late on Friday, after initially having said Waili and Tais had been killed, a senior official said they had escaped. The ministry website did not refer to the fate of the remaining two people. Rimi was among 23 people who had made a daring escape from a state security prison in Sanaa in February 2006 that left the Yemeni government red-faced, and he was on a list of 152 wanted suspects. Banna, also known as Continued on Page 14

MADRID: A Spanish lawmaker was stunned and horrified to find out that the FBI used his photograph as part of a digitally enhanced image showing what Osama bin Laden might look like today. Gaspar Llamazares of the United Lef t party said he would no longer feel safe traveling to the United States after his hair and facial wrinkles appeared on a wanted poster updating the US government’s 1998 photo of the Al-Qaeda leader. “I was surprised and angered because it’s the most shameless use of a real person to make up the image of a terrorist,” Llamazares said at a news conference yesterday. “It’s almost like out of a comedy if it didn’t deal with matters as serious as bin Laden and citizens’ security.” The Spanish newspaper El Mundo quoted FBI spokesman Ken Hoffman as acknowledging that the agency used a picture of Llamazares taken from Google Images for the digitally altered image of bin Laden. The photo appeared on a US State Department website rewardsforjustice.net, where a reward of up to $25 million is offered for bin Laden, wanted

This digitally enhanced image shows what Osama bin Laden could look like today. — AP in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks and the 1998 US embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Llamazares said he planned to ask the US government for an explanation and reserved the right to take legal action. FBI headquarters in Washington did not respond immediately when asked for comment yesterday, requesting that questions be sent to them by email. The State Department told a reporter to call back Tuesday after the US federal holiday on Monday. Continued on Page 14


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NATIONAL

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Arabs urged to follow suit

Sudan praises support of Kuwait for development KHARTOUM: A Sudanese official has criticized Arab states for abstention from contributing in development schemes in his country for such a role is necessary for internal national conciliation, but he has excluded Kuwait for launching several ventures in the country including South Sudan. Dr Mustafa Othman Ismail, the Presidential Advisor, said during a meeting with a visit-

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man watches the departure of the pearl diving fleet. — File photo

Sea Sports Club remembers late Amir’s contributions KUWAIT: The Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC) released a statement recently on the occasion of the fourth death anniversary of Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The organization’s Head Major General Fahad AlFahad reiterated the profound role played by the late Amir in protecting Kuwait’s maritime heritage and supporting the country’s legacy, in addition to connecting the younger generation with the nation’s past. Al-Fahad further highlighted the late Amir’s role in maintaining maritime heritage, especially the annual pearl diving event, which the club has been organizing for 24 years. It has helped connect Kuwait’s younger generations with their past her-

Major General Fahad Al-Fahad itage, while achieving success in reinforcing the country’s past among its citizens not only on the local scene,

but also on the regional and international scene. Furthermore, Al-Fahad acknowledged Sheikh Jaber’s vision of hosting the pearl diving event. It was first thought to be difficult to achieve due to the lack of appeal among youngsters. However, several young men have chosen to temporarily sacrifice their comfortable lives and experience the rigors that their ancestors had undergone in the past. Thanks to their initiatives, international cultural organizations like UNESCO have taken notice of the event. AlFahad asserted that the late Amir’s contributions towards supporting the country’s development as well as its heritage are countless in number.

“Only a few Arab states including Kuwait have shown understanding of the (strategic) importance of the south and the Kuwaiti projects are still up and running there such as Al-Sabah Hosptial, the Kuwaiti Village and AlSabah mosque in Juba,” he said. Acknowledging that security conditions in the south are generally shaky and affect investments, Ismail said certain ventures that benefit the south and the north can be launched without building sites in remote and lawless areas in the south, such as the construction of railways, roads and transportation services via the rivers. Ismail praised Kuwait for it was among the first Arab states that backed the development ventures in his country, such as the sugar factory in Kenanah, the largest in Africa. Kuwait, represented by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), is a main partner in other development schemes, such as Marwa dam, the largest project in the north of Sudan. The Kuwaiti government and grass-root organizations have played a major role in soothing human suffering in Darfur, he added. Elaborating, he recalled the historic Kuwaiti role in the southern region of Juba, namely tremendous efforts that had been exerted by the late Kuwaiti ambassador, Abdullah Al-Suraye’. Kuwait was the only coun-

ing delegation of the Kuwaiti Journalists Association, “We had aspired to see a genuine Arab role to preserve the unity of Sudan particularly after signing the (internal) peace accord” in 2005. Ismail indicated Khartoum needed Arab aid to launch mega development ventures linking the south with the north, such as road networks and other communication means.

KHARTOUM: Dr Mustafa Othman Ismail with Adnan Al-Rashed, Sami Al-Nisf, Muna Sheshtar and other KJA delegation members. try among the Arab and Gulf States to set up an office in Juba after the Addis Ababa Peace agreement in 1972. The pioneer Kuwaiti office in Juba under the late ambassador, locally dubbed “Abdulla Juba”, did a lot to accelerate development schemes and projects in South Sudan. Among the establishments

promoted by him were Al Sabah Children’s Hospital, the Kuwaiti Residential houses in Munuki and Juba Teachers’ House in Kator. The natives of South Sudan remained faithful for Kuwait, and when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, thousands of Sudanese from the south marched to the Kuwaiti

Hala to boost economy KUWAIT: Kuwait’s economy will thrive during the upcoming Hala February festival especially that the festivity would coincide with Kuwait’s celebrations of the National and Liberation Days, said the organizing committee yesterday. Head of the media team with the committee, Walid Al-Sagobi told the press that the Hala February, which began in 1999, did witness some setbacks in the past but it was wrong to deny that such event had con-

tributed to the thriving of the national economy. The committee would work extra hard to make this year’s celebrations a success through the inclusion of new events as well as special sales during the event, said the official. Al-Sagobi affirmed that many surprises await the consumers this Hala February, adding that people should stay tune for the upcoming event. — KUNA

embassy expressing solidarity with Kuwait against the invaders. Ismail, in his address to the Kuwaiti journalists, affirmed his country’s bad need for investments in strategic projects particularly in agriculture, noting that investing nations can be involved in joint projects to

secure food. He affirmed that foreign investments in the country are not targeted with threats, citing the presence of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian businessmen. “We have never received reports about security incidents involving these investors.” — KUNA

in the news ‘Dismiss oil minister’ KUWAIT: The Popular Action Bloc has refused to accept any government action other than the dismissal of the Minister of Information and Oil Sheikh Ahmed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah. The announcement was made by Member of the Popular Action Bloc (PAB) MP Ali Al-Deqbasi. He pointed out that a meeting was scheduled to be held yesterday with the presence of PAB’s ‘godfather’ MP Ahmed Al-Saadoun. Parliamentary officials asserted that the MPs opposed to Al-Abdullah are divided on grilling the minister, reported Al-Rai. Some were in favor of filing one interpellation motion, whereas the others preferred to file more than one motion. “However, they will make the final decision during today’s meeting,” officials asserted. Family enraged KUWAIT: In an incident that is being construed as a case of serious interference with the work of security services and a violation of citizens’ privacy, police officers recently raided a multi-purpose hall in South Surra. They had allegedly received an emergency call from MP Mohammad Hayef who claimed that homosexuals were holding a party at the said venue. However, the security personnel who reached the scene found out that the normal wedding ceremony was in progress, where most of the attendants comprised family members, reported Al-Qabas. On that note, a member of the family voiced concern and describing the act as a serious violation of personal liberty. They vowed, at the same time, to take legal actions against the lawmaker. In addition, they heavily criticized officials for blindly following the MPs’ words without carrying out own investigations. KTS to set up service center KUWAIT: The Leaders’ Preparation Academy at the Kuwait Teachers Society (KTS) invited all teachers to register with the academy for the second semester which will be organized in collaboration with Kuwait University’s Community Service and Learning Center. KTS board member, Jamal Al-Suwaifan said that the board of directors was currently considering establishing a special center to provide teachers with various services they needed following on the heels of services rendered to citizens in addition to some consultations made on educational matters.


NATIONAL

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Three young drug peddlers held Smuggling attempt

By Hannan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Mubarak Al-Kabeer police arrested three citizens in their twenties, in connection with possession of drugs at a street in Sabah Al-Salem. An undisclosed amount of heroin and a number of drug tablets were seized. The suspects were referred to higher authorities.

Security personnel recently confiscated heroin, and a mobile phone at the bathroom designated for inmates’ use. The contraband was found when prisoners were frisked outside the court, before they were admitted inside. An investigation was opened in order to identify the culprit. All the prisoners denied involvement in the incident.

Missing daughters A Kuwaiti family lodged a case at Al-Fintas police station stating that their 16-year-old daughter was missing. Further investigations were launched into the case. Meanwhile, a similar case was reported with the Abu Halifa police station, when a Kuwaiti family filed a complaint. In the petition, they stated that their 15-year-old daughter had eloped with her boyfriend. The police have launched an investigation.

Illegal residents held In a recent raid that was conducted in areas that fall within the Capital governorate, security personnel arrested several offenders. At least 139 illegal residents, bootleggers selling spurious liquor, illegal vendors, and phone booth operators were arrested. They were referred to proper authorities.

Illegal calls centers Woman assaulted A young man coincidentally found his girlfriend enjoying the company of a male friend in Sabah Al-Salem. Infuriated, he confronted the woman, assaulted her and destroyed her mobile phone. He was restrained by the girl’s father, who had arrived to his daughter’s rescue after she managed to contact him. A police patrol reached the scene after the father placed an emergency call. Officials launched an investigation into the case.

Ahmadi security officers recently arrested 18 Asian men and women for operating illegal international phone calls. The arrests were made during campaigns carried out in Al-Fahaheel and Al-Mangaf. They were referred to authorities.

Alcohol found Customs officials from the Shuwaikh Port recently thwarted an attempt to smuggle large quantities of alcohol into the

country. A total of 131 boxes filled with 1,573 bottles of liquor were confiscated from a container that arrived from a GCC country. An investigation was opened in order to identify the individual to whom the consignment was to be delivered.

Fatal accident A 23-year-old Syrian man was killed in a car collision that took place along the Sixth Ring Road. When paramedical staff arrived, the man was still alive, but in a critical condition. He had sustained injuries to his head in addition to other severe injuries. However, en route to the Al-Jahra hospital, he succumbed to his wounds. A case was opened, and criminal investigators were asked to refer the body for an autopsy.

Work permit forgery Officials from the General Department for Immigration recently exposed the actions of the head of a division at the Hawally labor department. He had allegedly forged 100 work permits and registered their names with an illegal company owned by a Kuwaiti in return for money. He was charged and arrested in connection with forging official documents. An Egyptian representative who had aided was also referred to the General Prosecution Department.

Praise for initiatives of private sector MANAMA: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bahrain Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Al-Sabah yesterday praised private sector initiatives that embody the meanings and patriotism inherent in the hearts of the people of Kuwait. The Ambassador’s statement came during his meeting with Chairman and Managing Director of the United Company for recreation and tourism, owner of Adhari park in Bahrain, Adel Hassan Amor, who said that on the occasion of Kuwait’s celebrations of the National Day and Liberation Day next February 15-26, Adhari Park will hold a special ceremony for this blessed occasion. Admission to the park will be free for all, Amor said. The Ambassador underscored that the participation of the private sector in such occasions, whether in Kuwait or abroad, reflects the joy and good feelings

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Two held for suicide attempt

Asian maid in custody for killing own baby KUWAIT: An Asian maid is being held at Ferdous police station and is charged with murdering her infant. The case was reported by the maid’s sponsor who discovered her on the roof of his house holding a baby. He discovered her attempting to kill the infant by striking its head against the wall. The owner stopped the woman and caught her while she tried to escape. He took her and the baby to Farwaniya Hospital where the baby was pronounced dead shortly

Sour fugitive

Suicide attempts

Work mishap

Ahmadi police pulled over a citizen on King Fahad Road. After inspecting the driver’s ID police discovered that he was wanted for drug trafficking and has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was transferred to the proper authorities.

An Asian man stood on the roof of his sponsor’s home in Naseem and threatened to jump off if he was not given a ticket back to his home country. He was saved by police who responded to the emergency and talked him out of his plans. After apprehending the man police discovered that the man was under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and taken in for investigations. In another incident, rescue teams saved an Indonesian maid threatening to jump off the roof of her sponsor’s home in Omariya. She was talked down following an hour of negotiations. A suicide attempt case was opened against her.

An Indian construction worker in his 30’s died after falling off a building under construction in Abdullah Al-Mubarak. Paramedics and police responded to the emergency. After a preliminary medical examination by paramedics it was determined that the man already died as a result of his serious injuries. Criminal investigators were summoned to examine the situation and an autopsy was ordered for the body.

Lawbreakers held In a recent campaign in the Capital Governorate, police discovered an apartment being used by three Asians to make alcohol and illegal international phone calls. They were taken to the proper authorities.

Home robbery A citizen informed police in AlNahdha that thieves broke into his new home and stole several electrical appliances. A case was opened and investigators were sent to the scene.

Road accident A citizen and an Arab woman were badly injured after a three car accident on Gulf Road. Police and paramedics responded to the emergency and took the injured to Amiri Hospital.

Thief arrested

MANAMA: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bahrain Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Al-Sabah with Chairman and Managing Director of the United Company for recreation and tourism Adel Hassan Amor and other officials. towards the beloved country Kuwait and this is the approach of the private sector in the area of

national contributions. “The National Day celebrations are the best joy for

all of us, and that Kuwait deserves a lot from us,” AlSabah said. —KUNA

after reaching the hospital. While being investigated at a police station the maid explained that the baby was hers from an illegal relationship and refused to reveal the identity of the baby’s father. She is facing charges of adultery and murder and will be sent to the General Department for Criminal Investigations. An autopsy has been ordered for the infant’s body in order to confirm the actual cause of death.

An Asian thief was caught by Jahra police after parts were reported stolen from several power transformers in Amghara. He was caught while trying to steal a valve from a transformer and had several other stolen valves in his possession. He was taken to the proper authorities.

Jakhour theft An owner of an animal farm in Kabad filed a complaint with local police against the farm’s janitor. The owner accused the man of stealing seven sheep from his farm. A case was opened and investigations are underway.

Drug possession Police arrested a man after four bars of hashish were found in his possession. The drugs were discovered in his vehicle after he was pulled over and searched on King Fahad Road. His accomplice, and passenger in the car, attempted to escape but was caught and arrested by police. Authorities found that the driver was under the influence of drugs while operating his vehicle. They were referred to the General Department for Drug Control.

Home misfortune A 3-year-old Indian child suffered second degree burns after being exposed to boiling oil at his family’s home in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. An ambulance responded to the emergency and paramedics brought the child to Farwaniya Hospital. He was admitted to the hospital’s ICU.

Illegal relationship An Asian maid was arrested after admitting to officials that her baby was the result of an illegal relationship with an Arab worker. The situation was discovered when the maid’s sponsor responded to her screams to discover that she had given birth in her room. An ambulance responded to the situation and brought the newborn baby and the mother to a nearby maternity hospital. After being questioned she made a full confession to police. Authorities used the information to find the baby’s father and place him under arrest. He and the maid will be sent to the General Department for Criminal Investigations for further questioning before being deported.

Egypt extols Kuwait’s participation in book fair CAIRO: An Egyptian official has described the participation of the State of Kuwait at the Cairo International Book Fair as the “cornerstone” over the past 40 years, adding that the Kuwaiti wing is always full of “discreet and distinguished publications”. Chairman of the Egyptian Public Authority for Book and National Archives Dr Mohamed Saber Arab said that Kuwait participates in the 42nd round of the Cairo International Book Fair, which will start on Jan 28, with multi-cultural activities in addition to a number of Arab and foreign countries. Arab extolled Kuwait’s role in the service of Arab culture through its successful cultural and various media publications, in addition to the scientific series, which are characterized by the excellent thought, hailing Kuwait’s support of Arab cultural programs in general. He stressed that the Kuwaiti culture is a “cutting edge” in the Arab cultural work, praising Kuwait’s support for the ongoing Arab and Islamic culture and its commitment to honor the innovators in various fields, particularly the cultural and literary ones. He praised in this context the cultural relations between Egypt and Kuwait since the early sixties of the last century, noting that the Kuwaiti cultural institutions and its diversified publications represented a “case of a permanent dialogue” in universities, schools, and the Egyptian press institutions as well as scientific and technical work in general. He said that 31 countries including 16 Arab states and 15 foreign countries will participate in the Fair. —KUNA

KUWAIT: A group photo of the autistic children.

KUWAIT: Students of the center holding the donation check.

Dunkin Donuts donation KUWAIT: The Kuwait Center for Autism recently welcomed a delegation from ‘Dunkin Donuts’ company, led by officials, M. Dominique See, David Roadjersey, Maya Al-Maaby, and Ahmad Zuhdi, who presented a charity donation check that was “a symbolic figure which demonstrated the company’s commitment toward supporting humanitarian organizations.” The members of the delegation were wel-

comed by the center’s Manager, Dr. Sameerah AlSaad and other members of the administration. The team paid a visit to the center, met with students and took pictures with them and presented them with donuts. The Kuwait Center for Autism was the first to open in Kuwait and the Middle East that treats autistic children. It opened in 1994 and has been developing ever since.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

NATIONAL

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local spotlight

Freedom of speech By Muna Al-Fuzai

I

believe that freedom of speech is the most crucial issue in Kuwait today. It should be defended to guarantee that no power is allowed to jeopardize this tool of democracy. A nation’s achievement is measured not by its wealth but by its efforts to develop its people. Freedom of speech is about promoting achievement. How can a country grow if a system attempts to control, supervise and punish the public for what they say and how they think? A society cannot grow if it can’t breathe! We are very fortunate in Kuwait to have freedom of speech as part of our democracy, as defined by the country’s constitution. Patriotic Kuwaiti’s had faith in human development. They believed that no power should threaten or take by force a person’s right to express their way of thinking. The inclusion of this freedom in the constitution demonstrates the wisdom and good sense of those Kuwaitis. Kuwait has changed a lot from then to now. At this time, we live under the tension of political and religious conflict.

Many groups want to run things their own way based on their own views. The MPs’ interference of who gets to visit Kuwait is troubling, especially if the person is a religious man. It makes it even worse that the Ministry of Interior approved it. Recently, there has been calls by some MPs to close satellite channels and send those who express their opposition publicly to jail. As though they are a murderer or drug smuggler! I think putting someone in prison because of their thoughts is disgusting and only reflects how backward we are. To fear the opposite opinion and different view is what dictators do. They jail and kill those who disagree. Promoting a person’s freedom of choice, speech, and thinking is not a concern to conservative groups anywhere in the world. Attempts to control a person’s views and shut their mouths are key indicators of a society run by dictators. Human development is not their concern, that is why they try to control activists, writers and thinkers. Controlling and sanctioning a person’s freedom is the goal of such societies. That is why freedom of speech should be protected. It must be defended to keep the vision and wisdom provided by the old Kuwaitis. muna@kuwaittimes.net

Letters to Muna Hi Ms Muna I’m sure lots of people will share the sentiment that their lives are in danger every time they go out, especially on Fridays when teenagers here in Kuwait take off their school uniforms and unleash the beast within. They ride on buses (for free) and bother passengers. When they leave the buses they throw stones, somebody could get hurt or die. A child’s character is a reflection of what kind of home they come from and what kind of parents they have. Thank you for your time and space. More power to you. Marlon Hello Muna I thank you for your tribute and services to humanity. We residents of Jleeb AlShuyoukh face traffic jams daily on the Mohammad Bin Gasem Road. It is totally closed and mini buses block traffic to pick up passengers. Even private vehicles cannot pass on this road. Please take up this issue so that we can get some relief. Azad, from Jleeb Al-shoyuokh Dear Muna Though you have not replied to my two previous emails I certainly believe that you have moved things along for us with the Ministry of Health. The long standing salary problem for expatriate Doctors seem to be on its way to being solved. I wholeheartedly thank you for this. Your articles are eye opening for those who treat their employees poorly. It is true that we expats multiply the value of Kuwaiti dinars to our country’s currency when calculating the salary but forget the cost of living here. This really make us helpless

once we settle here. The large difference in the salary of Kuwaitis and expats is really demoralizing. I thank you once again. With regards, Nayak Dear Muna Though your concern about the meager wages many expats experience in Kuwait is appreciated, at least one of your statements about Kuwait is not considered correct; the cost of living in Kuwait. Just a month ago a friend of mine from India got a job in Kuwait. We went shopping together and he was surprised by the prices of vegetables, sugar and rent here! In Kuwait sugar is cheaper than in India! Rice is certainly cheaper here too, as is ghee and yoghurt. We also found rent for a two bedroom apartment, in a brand new building in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, at just KD 185 near the Indian English School. Also, some of the cars sold here are cheaper by 200 percent. My friend is astonished! I agree with you about the poor wages that expat workers receive here in Kuwait. I noticed something though. The sweeper who gets KD 20 a month never forgets to smoke cigarettes. Never. I have never seen a Bangladeshi without a cigarette in his fingers! A boy once asked his father ëif god is a rich god and he has compassion for us then why are so many of us expats poor?’ I believe it is because god knows who to bless. Those with more money will spend it on vices. The crime reports in Kuwait prove it. With love, Narasimhan

Millions wasted in ‘unworthy’ ministry bonuses KUWAIT: The bonuses paid to employees working with the government sector in recognition for outstanding work have lost their true meaning after being plagued by ‘wasta’ or favoritism. These amount paid varies between directorates. Employees of one firm are entitled to monthly salaries in addition to allowances that amount to half of their earnings, while other firms operate according to other budgetary considerations. Resentment has been growing within the Civil Service Commission (CSC) owing to reported cases of manipulations that occur while nominating employees for bonuses, which are sometimes raised unconditionally. This costs the country a total of KD 5 million on allowances paid to undeserving employees. On the other hand, several other employees are ignored from the candidates’ lists. Taking this matter into light, the CSC has instructed these ‘wronged’ employees to file complaints as per the regulations of the law, reported Al-Qabas. Furthermore, several employees at the Ministry of Communications were disappointed to learn that eligible candidates’ list would now be reduced to a quarter. It will also be compiled by the head of a department who is not accountable to a higher authority. Following this, the Ministry released a list detailing eligibility conditions.

Project to to start in July

Jahra road gets KD 343m facelift KUWAIT: A KD 343 million project to develop Jahra road is scheduled to start next July. The announcement was made by Hussain AlMansour, Assistant Deputy of Road Engineering Affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. Al-Mansour added that the project will include establishing road maintenance and

other services such as electricity, water, and telephones on the Al-Jahra and Jamal Abdul-Nasser roads. He said that the project comes as part of the country’s plan to develop the infrastructure of the country. Al-Mansour said the project will start from Al-Jahra gate in the north east, develop toward the UN roundabout

and then extend to Jamal Abdul Nasser Road. He added that the Al-Jahra Road development project is important because it is connected to several other projects. Phase one of the project includes establishing Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah bridge on the First Ring Road and adding water drainage and sewer systems.

The development project in Kuwait’s south west is an important link between suburban areas and other vital services such as hospitals, Kuwait University, the Ministry of Defense and Shuwaikh port. In their last session, Kuwait’s Parliament approved the development plan in an attempt to turn Kuwait into

a world financial center. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah announced that the total cost of the development plan is expected to cost about KD 37 billion. —KUNA


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NATIONAL

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Foreign ministers to hold talks

Bosnia sees new phase of cooperation with Kuwait SERAJEVO: Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj said here yesterday that Kuwait is a pioneering state in supporting and standing by the more hard-pressed countries of the world, stressing that Bosnians didn’t and wouldn’t forget the humanitarian stances adopted by Kuwaiti government and people. Alkalaj said in an exclusive statement here yesterday on the occasion of his forthcoming visit to Kuwait that he looks forward to meeting Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammed Al-Sabah and to hold consultations with him. He said that during those consultations he will be pleased to hear the opinions of the Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on current regional and international conditions and to discuss with him the best ways of promoting cooperation between Kuwait and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alkalaj went on to say that the wise Kuwaiti leadership is known for sound and perspicuous visions at the world level, and that Bosnia occupies since the start of this year a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council and wants to consult with Kuwait on some questions relating to the work of this significant world body. Further, Alkalaj described the relations between Kuwait and Bosnia and Herzegovina as model, reiterating that the visit paid by His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Muhammed AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to

Support for youth, education lauded TUNIS: A Kuwaiti academic official hailed his country here yesterday for backing, and taking care of, youth and educational development. Speaking at an international seminar to mark the International Youth Year, entitled: “Youth and the Future: Current Challenges, Capacity Building and Participation Mechanisms”, Deputy Director of the Kuwait University for Academic Supportive Services Dr. Ahmad Al-Menes said Kuwait had provided a solid and excel-

Kuwait due to witness chain of youth events TUNIS: Kuwait is due to witness various youth gatherings and seminars as part of the International Youth Year, said Secretary General of Kuwait’s National Committee of Education, Science and Culture Abdullatif Al-Buaijan yesterday. Al-Buaijan, also the Arab coordinator for the Arab-European Dialogue, said the Kuwaiti committee would organize many youth activities coinciding with the 2010-20111 UN-approved youth year. Currently, it is preparing other programs for the youth through the Arab-European Dialogue, namely the major international meeting, due to be held in Paris on January 27-29, with participation of nine Arab states and nine European nations. It is aimed at boosting the Arab-European dialogue, exchanging views and expertise and discussing role of the new generation in the promotion of dialogue among the diverse civilizations and cultures, he added. — KUNA

lent educational ground through internal and external educational missions. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Education, for instance, has allocated a huge budget for its educational development blueprint, he said, adding that laptops would be distributed among all Kuwait University students in order to boost their scientific and academic capabilities. All Kuwaiti students are granted KD 100 each on a monthly basis in order to help them focus on their scientific

and research studies, he added. Kuwait has also made much headway in providing a congenial environment for youth to express themselves freely, the university professor boasted. Responding to the International Youth Year, the Kuwait University is bent on adopting many programs aiming to stimulate and spur dialogue with youth in order to listen to their problems, requests and needs, he noted. Intensive Arab and Gulf

presence in this youth gathering shows that Arab governments attach much attention to vital youth issues, said AlMenes, who represented Minister of Education and Higher Education Moudhi AlHumoud in the event. The seminar, which kicked off here earlier on Friday, has attracted representatives, experts and scholars in youth issues from 20 countries, including Kuwait and some other Gulf nations, together 28 regional and international youth organizations. — KUNA

Al-Shuraiaan calls for activating economic summit’s decisions CAIRO: Minister of Electricity and Water Dr Badr Shibeeb Al-Shuraiaan has stressed the necessity of going ahead with putting the decisions of Kuwait economic, social and development summit into effect, especially on expanding the use of the new energy technologies. Shuraiaan made this remark in a statement following his participation in the meetings of the extraordinary session of the Arab ministerial council for electricity. He also said that the meeting reached a consensus on continuing the implementation of the decisions of the Arab economic, social and development summit in the field of the joint electricity grid and the use of the renewable energy. This also included reviewing a comprehensive report on carrying out to be submitted to the next Arab economic summit to be held in Sharm Al-Sheikh next year. In the same context, Shuraiaan said that there is an Arab keenness on improving the status of the Arab citizens through devising development plans and projects and providing such projects with electricity through the renewable energy including solar and wind energies. Asked about the Kuwait’s stance on the use of the solar energy for generating electricity, the

Kuwaiti minister of Electricity and Water said that, “We have specialists in such field in the ministry of electricity, besides the big role played by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and other Kuwaiti institutions in such specialty.” In another development, Head of the Municipal Council Zaid Al-Azmi and assistant secretary general of the Arab Towns Organization (ATO) Ahmad Muhammed AlAdsani discussed here Thursday coordinating on organizing and preparing the 15th General Congress of the ATO due in Kuwait next October. This took place during a meeting between Adsani and the head of the Municipal Council which touched upon preparations for forming a joint working team for this event that will be held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait, a press statement said. The statement went on to say that the meeting dealt with making necessary preparations for making such conference a success and sending invitations for all municipalities of the member states at the ATO and the Arab countries signing twinning agreements with the ATO and Kuwait Municipality Council. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Al-Marzouqi presents the NBK’s administration members with a memento.

NBK builds wedding hall in Ghernata KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) recently inaugurated a wedding hall in Ghernata, which was built and equipped. It will be used by citizens in the area. In a ceremony, the hall was officially handed over to the Shamiya and Shuwaikh Cooperative Society. This step was taken as part of

the bank’s continuous efforts to render its services toward society. On this occasion, NBK CEO, Esam Jassem Al-Saqr, reassured the bank’s commitment towards social issues, which he said expands to cover various fields like social and humanitarian activities. He added that the

decision to build the hall stemmed from belief in the importance of delivering more in terms of social duties which they regard as an important part of their work. Meanwhile, Deputy CRO of the Shamiya and Shuwaikh Coop, Abdullah Ali Al-Marzouq, expressed gratitude toward the

NBK for their initiative, commending at the same time on the profound role they play in supporting society. The Head of the Administrative Affairs Section of the bank, Waleed AlYaqout, asserted that the hall was built after the bank sensed the area’s need to have such a facility.

Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of last November opened a new chapter in the bilateral relations between the two countries. The top Bosnian diplomat also said that this visit represented a qualitative shift in the overall relations between the two brotherly countries. He added that political and economic relations between Kuwait and Bosnia is not a new one, but it goes back to the former Yugoslav era as Bosnia was the most active republic in implementing the joint Yugoslav-Kuwaiti cooperation programs.

Alkalaj also pointed out that these relations currently see a new promising and advanced phase between the two brotherly and friendly countries. He also made clear that some Bosnian companies played an effective role in Kuwaiti markets since the Kuwait independence and that Kuwaitis were always present in Bosnia as visitors and welcomed guests at its sanatoriums. The political and economic impetus of the bilateral relations stopped for a while following the collapse of former Yugoslavia and the outbreak of the Bosnian war, besides the conditions con-

comitant with the invasion initiated by the old Iraqi regime against the independent State of Kuwait, he pointed out. However, Alkalaj expressed his optimism for the restoration of these active relations with a strong momentum under the new conditions in the two countries. The Bosnian foreign minister concluded by saying that new conditions and realities in both of the two countries and the regions including them impose a new fait accompli that necessitates adapting to it and forging ties that respect such conditions and realities. — KUNA

Civil aviation conference kicks off in Amman AMMAN: “We always want to set the suitable organizational framework for competition in civil aviation through modernizing rules and legislations that regulate the air transportation market and aviation safety, “chief of the Public Directorate of Civil Aviation in the state of Kuwait Fawaz Abdulaziz Alfarah said here yesterday. Alfarah made this remark in a statement to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on the sidelines of his participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) conference organized by Queen Nour Civil Aviation Technical College and kicking off in the Jordanian capital of Amman today. The state of Kuwait follows the open air policy to encourage world countries to use Kuwait International Airport and connect it to the biggest possible air network with airlines from other airports and to make other options accessible for the Kuwaiti air passengers, he said. Concerning the attendance of this conference, Alfarah said that the participation of his directorate in the aviation safety conference comes within the framework of cooperation in this field and in order to provide ways for strengthening the aviation safety of the air transportation. He also said that this conference includes important discussions around modernizing legislations,systems of the civil aviation safety, qualifying personnel in the fields relative to the aviation safety and putting a stress on training in this field. Alfarah went on to say that the conference highlights the European legislations in the field of aviation safety and the applied systems as well as the state-of-the-art methods reached by the European countries in the field of checking the safety of their aircraft. The conference will also tackle the exchange of expertise and data on aircraft safety, the flying and maintenance operations and the staff training in this sector. Participants of this conference that was inaugurated by Jordanian transportation Alaa Batayneh on behalf of H.H. Prince Faisal bin Alhussein represent 21 Arab colleges, academies and aviation institutions including the Kuwaiti ones. The conference is also to discuss the policies followed by the EASA, its laws and instructions, besides highlighting the state-of-the-art educational methods in this field. Functions of the EASA twoday conference organized by Queen Nour Civil Aviation Technical College started here yesterday under the patronage of H.H. Prince Faisal bin Alhussein with the aim of discussing the policies related to safety laws and instructions and the latest developments in this field. — KUNA

Mohammed El-Shareef during the MIS lecture to KU students.

A group photo

A partial view of the audience.

NBK holds lecture on role of MIS at Kuwait University KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East, announced that it held a lecture at Kuwait University entitled ‘The Role of MIS at NBK and beyond.’ The Management Information Systems (MIS) Executive Manager at NBK, Mohammed ElShareef presented the lecture and covered topics ranging from logistics of MIS at NBK to the importance of the role that MIS plays in product segmentation. He also discussed the credentials required of someone seeking a banking career, and what is needed to fulfill the role within the department at the bank. Thirty five KU students were present at the lecture, their Professor of MIS Dr. Kamal AlRouibah, Dr. Hameed Al-Qahari Chairperson of

the Department of Quantitative Methods as well as various staff members from NBK. The lecture was sponsored by NBK’s Al Shabab segment, which plays a vital role within NBK’s commitment to Community Social Responsibility towards Kuwait’s youth. It is important to note that NBK, all year round, offers exciting campaigns and promotions for Al-Shabab account holders. Al-Shabab is a youth account that caters to the various financial needs of the youth in the country. The account is for customers that fall between the age group of 17-23 years. It offers custom made financial packages to suit the requirements of the students during their college years. The account has encouraged the culture of saving and rewards customers with highest savings with some of the best prizes in the country.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

NATIONAL

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Sheikh Ahmad acknowledges MPs’ cooperation

Govt to conduct studies on new development plan KUWAIT: Members of the Cabinet and the Parliament felt relieved after the unanimous passing of the development plan during its first hearing. The Parliament’s financial committee, and the Cabinet, are poised to conduct a series of studies on the amendments in order to come up with compromises to maintain unanimity. Deputy Premier for Sheikh Ahmad acknowledged MPs for their cooperation and said that this plan is the foundation for launching the development process. He added that supporting it achieves optimism and promotes acting responsibly. He said that the Cabinet will study the amendments presented by the financial committee and that with the cooperation of the MPs, an agreement can be reached. He added that they will consider a proposal to postpone the plan until next year.

Sheikh Ahmad said they are aware of the level of responsibility required to execute the plan and that all potential challenges can be overcome with the cooperation of the Parliament. In other Parliamentary related news, MP Dr Jaman Al-Harbash spoke on the final meeting regarding the details of the proposed grilling against Minister of Information and the Oil Minister, held yesterday at MP Dr Faisal Al-Mislem’s diwaniya.

Economic Affairs and Minister for Housing and Development Affairs, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad, said the result’s success was expected. He said that this case is a matter of top priority for the whole country and that it reflects the sense of responsibility that the MPs have, reported Al-Qabas.

In an interview, Al-Harbash said that he expected the meeting to be attended by the same MPs who attended a similar gathering at MP Mubarak Al-Waalan’s diwaniya last week. He said he also expected MPs Marzouq AlGhanim, Saleh Al-Mulla and Dr. Hassan Jouhar to join them, reported Al-Rai. Al-Harbash emphasized that the attendees of the meeting will define the proposed grilling as not sectarian or tribally motivated. “AlAbdullah violated the law and

it could have effected a lot of people,” he stressed. He also accused both the Minister and his media staff of failing to enforce the law. Al-Harbash said that he rejected the government’s amendments to audio-visual law and that he will never accept granting the government the power or authority to silence people. “I will never accept imprisonment as a penalty for expression,” he said. Al-Harbash denied intentions to grill the first Deputy

Premier and Defense Minister, Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak over the weapons contracts made for the Kuwait Army. “Such information should be known only to the Minister himself. I have the understanding that weapon selection is done by instructions from a higher authority,” he remarked. He added that the Audit Bureau is investigating the matter upon the Minister’s own consent and he is awaiting the Bureau’s report before making up his mind.

Stage ready for jewelry exhibition

Concours d’Elegance to be prestigious artistic event KUWAIT: Under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Kuwait will play host to Concours d’Elegance 2010, for the first time between Jan 20 and 23. The grand event, to be organized by the Historical, Classic and Vintage Car Museum of Kuwait, will showcase a collection of classic cars, said Abdulazis Masoud AlIshaaq, board member of the museum and chief of the organizing committee. “This will be an artistic cultural event, not a commercial one, because it aims to shed light on the artistry of the designs and the spirit that went into the creation of these wonderful machines,” he pointed out. “The show will coincide with the centenary of the arrival of the first Minerva automobile to Kuwait in 1910 during the tenure of late Amir Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, may

God have mercy on his soul,” Al-Ishaaq said. “By introducing Concours d’Elegance to Kuwait, we aim to satisfy the great passion of the Kuwaiti fans to view the artistry of the classic cars, and highlight the ability of the country to set the stage for such a prestigious event. Dealing with the name of the event, he said: “Concours is a French word meaning competition. The concept of Concours originates in 17th century France when aristocrats used to choose their best horse carriages to parade around parks of Paris during the summer weekends and holidays.” “This tradition had turned to be an international automobile show from the 20th century on. Concours now have strict regulations and cars are inspected by a panel of qualified arbiters to ensure that the Trophy winners are carefully chosen,” Al-Ishaaq added. — KUNA

Meetings with German officials vital: Diplomat BERLIN: A Kuwaiti diplomat stressed here Thursday the importance of holding meetings between Kuwait Embassy and German officials and foreign diplomats. Charge Dí Affairs of Kuwait Embassy in Germany Advisor Sameeh Jawhar Hayat said the meetings were opportunities to exchange positive views on different issues, especially those related to Kuwait, the Gulf region, and the Arab world. He said that Kuwait Embassy hosted Wednesday evening a gathering for diplomats here with the coordination and cooperation with the German Foreign Ministry to strengthen diplomatic relations. The gathering was attended by representatives of the German Foreign Ministry and the ministry of economy and trade, as well as more than 60 diplomats from around the world, he pointed out. During the gathering, Hayat stressed the importance of mutual respect and understanding and briefed the diplomats about the Kuwaiti-German relations, joint investments between the two countries in the private and public sectors, and historic, cultural, and economic information about Kuwait. Meanwhile, German officials talked about their countryís efforts aiming to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East and ways to strengthen the KuwaitiGerman ties. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Kuwait International Fair Grounds continues to make preparations to host an international gold jewelry exhibition between February 15 to 21st. It will be held under the patronage of Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashid AlHaroon. The exhibition’s Director Ali Mubarak AlShatti said that the commerce minister’s patronage lends considerable support to the exhibition. Applications are still open to participants. It will be held in an area that covers 7,000 square meters. Al-Shatti said that participation is not limited to local companies. Companies from Italy Singapore, India, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon and Egypt will also make their presence felt. The jewelry and gold exhibition, one of the largest specialized exhibitions held in this field, is held on an annual basis. It is considered to be considered one of the most important economic events in Kuwait. It attracts a large number of visitors ñ at least 75,000 every year. Many families visit it more than once. The Kuwait International Fair, with its long years of experience, provides the ideal environment for exhibitions to be held.

KUWAIT: Ministry of Interior Undersecretary, Lt Gen Ahmed Abdullatif Al-Rujaib accompanied by top security officials leaving yesterday on a five-day official visit to Jordan.

Egyptian drug peddler apprehended By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An Egyptian driver was referred to the Public Prosecution Office after he was arrested in connection with trading in drugs. The accused admitted to smuggling in 25,000 Keptagon pills, and also acknowledged smuggling similar quantities of the

narcotics while en route from Iraq.. According to security sources, the Director of General Department for Drug Control Brig Sheikh Ahmad AlKhalifa Al-Sabah was tipped-off about the driver’s activities. An undercover agent posing as a customer was sent to strike a deal to buy 5,000 pills for KD 2,500. When the driver arrived at the

Kuwaiti border and passed the check point he contacted the agent in order to deliver the substance. An agreement was reached to meet up at Abdaly and the suspect was immediately arrested. He was caught in the act of exchanging the pills. Security personnel then confiscated large quantities of other drugs that were concealed in the truck.


INTERNATIONAL

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World powers mull new sanctions against Tehran China sends a lower-level diplomat in a signal of its reluctance NEW YORK: Six major powers met yesterday to mull a response to Iran’s nuclear defiance but China sent a lower-level diplomat in a signal of its reluctance to back tougher sanctions pushed by the West. Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States sent top officials of their respective foreign ministries at the meeting hosted by the European Union. The six offi-

cials representing the so-called P5+1 were scheduled to meet for a working luncheon at the EU mission in New York, but a diplomat cautioned against expecting any “spectacular” outcome. Robert Cooper, a senior security adviser representing the EU, was to brief reporters at the end of the closed-door meeting around 2100 GMT. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Monday that the six would explore “the kind and degree of sanctions that we should be pursuing” as Iran doggedly refused to comply with UN demands to halt uranium enrichment. Diplomats said Western members of the group of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany were likely to present their Russian and Chinese colleagues with a range of new and tougher sanctions. The goal is to crank up the pressure on Iran to accept a UN-brokered deal aimed at allaying suspicions about the nature of its nuclear program by shipping most of its low enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile abroad to be further enriched into reactor fuel. But Tehran has ignored a US-set December 31 deadline to back the offer, drawn up by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, and countered with its own proposal of a simultaneous and staged swap of LEU with reactor fuel. Measures said to be under consideration include tougher sanctions targeting insurance, financial and STOCKHOLM: An Iran Air Airbus 300-600 stands in the snow after skidding off the runway on takeoff Iran’s arms sectors, diplomats said. from Stockholm Arlanda Airport yesterday. The aircraft was bound for Teheran and carried 173 pasWashington favors sanctions senger and crew, none of whom were injured. — AP targeting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, seen as the economic and military backbone of the Iranian regime in a bid to minimize the impact on the Iranian people and avoid an adverse effect on the very people protesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hardline regime. “Our goal is to pressure the Iranian government, particularly the Revolutionary Guard eleBAGHDAD: Iraq’s former pro- Saddam’s former regime, is also a being a top commander in Al- Qaeda and other insurgent ments, without contributing to Western prime minister Iyad member of Allawi’s alliance and Qaeda front organisation the groups. the suffering of ordinary Allawi yesterday unveiled a broad was at the ceremony. Allawi Islamic State in Iraq, was captured The army spokesman said (Iranians) who deserve better secular alliance of candidates to served as prime minister from in an operation in the capital, troops had also detained a Saudi than what they are currently contest the country’s general June 2004 until being replaced by Baghdad military command national, Mohammed Abdallah receiving,” Clinton said early election on March 7. Allawi, a transitional premier Ibrahim spokesman Qassem Atta told a Nasser, who was suspected of this month. Shiite politician who in exile Jaafari in May 2005, who in turn news conference. being an important Al-Qaeda comWashington and its Western mounted an opposition movement was succeeded by Maliki in Iraq’s “He is responsible for the mander in Diyala province, north allies fear that Iran is secretly against Saddam Hussein, was pro- first parliamentary elections in explosion at the UN headquarters of the capital. West of Baghdad, developing fissile material for visionally appointed by December the same year. in Baghdad,” Atta charged. Before troops detained 11 suspected nuclear weapons under the Washington as Iraq’s first premier Qaeda suspect nabbed the US-led invasion of 2003, the members of another Islamic milicover of its uranium enrichafter the dictator’s ouster in the Meanwhile, the Iraqi army said suspect was a pilot for state- tant group, Ansar Al-Sunna, in the ment program. But Iran insists US-led invasion of 2003. He held yesterday that it had detained a owned flag carrier Iraqi Airways, Euphrates valley town of Hit, a its nuclear program is peaceful the post for just under a year. suspected Al-Qaeda leader impli- he added. The August 19, 2003 security source said. They are and solely geared toward generHis public profile and influence cated in the 2003 bombing of the bombing which killed UN special suspected of being behind a series ating electricity for its civilian has since slipped-he currently has UN’s Baghdad headquarters representative Sergio Vieira de of four bombings targeting the population. Washington along no ministers in the war-torn which killed 22 people. Ali Mello and 21 of his colleagues homes of policemen in the town with Britain, nation’s government-but he is a Hussein Alwan al-Azawi, nick- marked the start of an escalating which killed a total of seven peoFrance and Germany have sworn foe of current Shiite Prime named Abu Imad, suspected of wave of attacks blamed on Al- ple. —Agencies for months sought to convince Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whom he Russia and China that the time aims to unseat. has come to get tougher with “We are a national political the Islamic republic, which has entity, committed to serving all already snubbed its nose at Iraqis and we call on them to join three sets of UN Security us,” Rafa Al-Essawi, the country’s Council sanctions. Sunni deputy prime minister, told Diplomats noted that hundreds of people at a glitzy Moscow, having seen its mediaBaghdad ceremony. tion efforts rebuffed by Tehran, Allawi did not speak at the has signaled it is prepared to gathering where candidates for turn up the heat on the Iranians. his Al-Iraqiya Alliance were But China, which has close ecounveiled but he was flanked by nomic and energy ties with Sunni Vice President Tareq AlIran, has said new sanctions Hashemi who fired an opening would be premature and that verbal salvo at Maliki. “He more time should be given for (Maliki) has failed to create a state diplomacy to work. Joining of citizens to replace a state of Cooper at the meeting will be (religious) communities,” Geoffrey Adams for Britain, Hashemi told candidates and Jacques Audibert for France, onlookers at the launch ceremony Emily Haber for Germany, held at Al-Rasheed Hotel. Sergei Ryabkov for Russia, The prominent Sunni lawmakWilliams Burns for the United BAGHDAD: Iraq’s former prime minister Ayad Allawi (left), prominent er Saleh Al-Mutlak, who has been States and Kang Yong, a counbanned from competing in the Sunni leader Saleh Al-Mutlaq (center) and Sunni lawmaker Dhafir Al-Ani selor at China’s UN mission, March poll for alleged links to (right) confer during a rally announcing the Iraqiya Alliance yesterday. —AP diplomats said. — AFP

Iraqi former PM Allawi unveils secular alliance

Court holds last session in French woman’s case Lawyer for French academic upbeat after final Iran hearing TEHRAN: French academic Clotilde Reiss’s lawyer expressed confidence she would be acquitted after she appeared in court in Tehran yesterday on charges of acting against Iranian national security during anti-government protests in June. Lawyer Mohammad Ali Mahdavi Sabet said that the two-hour hearing was the final one in the long-running case which has tested Iran’s relations with France and that he now expected the court to announce its verdict within seven days. Reiss, who has been staying at the French embassy in Tehran since being released on bail in August, was in court for the hearing, the third in her trial, Mahdavi Sabet said. “She and I made our last defense submissions,” he said. “In my closing statement for the defense, I rejected all the accusations against her

and said that she has not committed any crime. “I asked for her acquittal and I am very confident and optimistic about her acquittal,” he said. “This was her last court session. After that Ms Reiss left for the embassy. “They will tell me the verdict when it is ready. Under Iranian law, the court has a week to issue its verdict,” Mahdavi Sabet added. A French diplomatic source in Paris said the ambassador and first counselor from the Tehran embassy attended the hearing. “We are now waiting calmly for the verdict,” the source said. The 24year-old academic was arrested on July 1 shortly before she was due to fly home after a six-month study and teaching visit to the Iranian city of Isfahan. She was accused of taking photos and emailing material on the protests that erupted

after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June, and handing them to a diplomat at the French embassy. France has strongly protested her innocence on all charges. Reiss was one of scores of people paraded before cameras at a televised trial, before being remanded in custody in Tehran’s notorious Evin jail. Iran’s opposition, which charges the election was massively rigged to keep hardliner Ahmadinejad in power, has dismissed the court proceedings as “show trials.” France has accused Iran of trying to blackmail it into releasing an Iranian agent, Ali Valiki Rad, jailed in France for the 1991 murder of an exiled former prime minister Shapour Bakhtiar. Vakili Rad is serving a life sentence. Tehran has never confirmed making such a proposal.

In addition, Iranian engineer Majid Kakavand, 37, arrested in Paris in March 2009 and accused of breaking the US trade embargo on Iran, is awaiting a court decision next month on a US application to extradite him. The engineer has been mentioned in the case of Reiss, although the Iranian ambassador in Paris has denied wanting to swap the pair. Iran arrested thousands of people during and after the opposition protests and has put several hundred of them on trial on charges of either inciting or taking part in the demonstrations. Iranian leaders have repeatedly accused Western powers, especially the United States and Britain, of seeking to overthrow the Islamic regime by fomenting mass protests in the aftermath of the election. —AP

Sunday, January 17, 2010

in the news Brotherhood’s influence on the Egyptian politics

E

gypt’s Muslim Brotherhood named a conservative, Mohamed Badeea, as its new leader yesterday, suggesting Egypt’s biggest opposition group may lower its political profile and focus on a social agenda. Following are questions and answers on the Brotherhood, Egypt’s biggest opposition group:

WHAT IS THE POLITICAL ROLE OF BROTHERHOOD? Founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has grown despite periodic crackdowns through the decades when it was accused of plots to destabilize the state. The Brotherhood renounced violence in the 1970s and says it seeks an Islamic state through a democratic system. In the 1980s, it gained influence among professional syndicates and student bodies. The Brotherhood is officially banned but grudgingly tolerated by the state, and took about a fifth of the seats in parliament in 2005 by fielding candidates as independents. The ruling National Democratic Party overwhelmingly controls parliament.

WHAT INFLUENCE DOES THE BROTHERHOOD WIELD TODAY? The group has been increasingly sidelined from mainstream politics because of state repression and a ban on religious-based parties. Hundreds of members have been detained, and Brotherhood participation in local council and other elected bodies has been restricted. Leading figures in the group have ruled out open confrontation with the state on the streets, or even stepping up their political challenge. Analysts say they fear being crushed by the state, and have opted instead for survival to try to win over society gradually at grassroot level to their vision of an Islamic state.

WHAT ARE THE GROUP’S CHANCES IN THE NEXT ELECTIONS? In the run up to 2008 municipal elections, hun-

dreds of Brotherhood candidates were jailed. After being allowed to compete for only a fraction of the seats, the group said it would boycott the vote, and analysts say the NDP was unchallenged in about 70 percent of seats. The Brotherhood’s image of being the only credible challenger to the NDP at the ballot box has been further diminished by internal divisions and the low political profile of its leaders. A parliamentary election is due later in 2010 and analysts say the Brotherhood may be squeezed down to only a handful of seats. Rules for the presidential race in 2011 make it almost impossible for any independent candidate such as one from the Brotherhood to mount a challenge.

WHERE IS THE DEBATE GOING INSIDE THE BROTHERHOOD? Internal divisions in the Brotherhood were exposed in the run up to the vote for a new leader. The rift pits an old guard wary of political confrontation against mainly younger members who want the group to be more politically active. The younger generation also seek internal changes, such as giving women and young people a bigger role in decision-making. With more cautious voices prevailing, analysts say the Brotherhood is likely to expand its social services and promote its values through religious teaching. These are the twin pillars of its popularity among the poor. A fifth of Egypt’s 78 million people live in dire poverty. But a retreat from the political frontline may widen divisions and weaken the group’s ability to rally so many supporters in a single bloc. This in turn may leave a space for other, possibly more militant, Islamist voices to fill. “The Brotherhood has been a kind of counterforce in its reformist opposition, and also to jihadists. With the weakening of the Brotherhood, a heavy-handed and authoritarian government might create conditions that would foster a resurgence of jihadist groups,” said John L Esposito, professor at Georgetown University in Washington. — AP

Iraq to hold 1st full census since 1987 Census could help answer questions about disputed lands BAGHDAD: Plans are on track to take Iraq’s first complete census in 23 years, a process that will help answer questions critical to the future of Iraq’s northern oilfields, such as “how many Kurds live in Kirkuk?” The long-delayed count, which may shut down the country for two days in October, is also expected to determine how many Iraqis live abroad and how many have been forced to move within Iraq in seven years of war, census chief Mehdi AlAlak said. The census was postponed for a year over worries it was being politicized. Ethnic groups in contested areas like the northern city of Kirkuk, home to Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and a valuable part of Iraq’s oil fields, opposed it because it might reveal demographics that would undermine political ambitions. The count could provide answers or create more squabbles in a diverse nation riven by sectarian violence following the US invasion in 2003 and now trying to bolster fragile security gains while deciding how to share out its vast oil wealth. Iraq has the world’s 3rd largest crude oil reserves. The autonomous Kurdish region in the north claims Kirkuk as its own. The census will determine whether Kurds are the biggest ethnic bloc in the city, which could bolster that claim. It will also find out how many people live in Iraqi Kurdistan, which will define its slice of central government revenues, currently 17 percent. If the census finds Kurds are a greater percentage of the total population, the constitution says the region gets more money, and retroactive payments. NUMBERS, NOT POLITICS What it won’t do, Alak said, is attempt to determine which of the hotly disputed areas belong to whom. “It is not our business to decide their destiny,” Alak, the head of the Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology (COSIT), said in an interview this week. “We count the people in the province where they live. Deciding the destiny of the areas is the business of the politicians.” The census will be the first to include the Kurdish region since 1987. A 1997 census counted 19 million Iraqis and officials estimated there were

NAJAF: Umm Abbas kisses her 11-year-old grandson, Abbas Qassim, who was injured in a bombing in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday, Jan 15, 2010. —AP another 3 million in the Kurdish north. The current national population is believed to be “not less than 30 million,” Alak said. “We started three months ago the listing and mapping process that is the backbone of our work,” he said. “We have initial numbers of houses, buildings, families, and individuals.” The census will show the religious makeup of a predominantly Muslim nation but will deliberately not ask a resident’s sect. Sectarian fighting has killed tens of thousands since Saddam Hussein’s minority Sunni-led regime was deposed and majority Shiites gained political power. “He or she would say Muslim, Christian, Sabian, Yazidi, but the form doesn’t contain sect questions like Sunni or Shiite,” Alak said. “It is very sensitive now because of our circumstances. (To ask this question) is not recommended.” Between 200,000

and 250,000 schoolteachers will be trained this summer and mustered in the last week of October to carry out the count. The exact date has not been set. The teachers will be joined by 10,000 to 15,000 other government workers, as well as security forces to protect them in restive areas like Nineveh province, where remnants of al Qaeda are still in evidence. All Iraqis will be ordered to stay home for one and possibly two days, a census tradition in Iraq, Alak said. Enumerators will go to each of the estimated 5 million households to count heads, examine identification, ask about education and profession and register rates of births and deaths. Alak said Iraq’s total population should be known about 15 days after census day, but more specific demographics will take about 10 months to tally. — Reuters


INTERNATIONAL

Sunday, January 17, 2010

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Case of snatched ex-president’s body baffles Cyprus NICOSIA: More than a month after the embalmed body of Cyprus’s former president Tassos Papadopoulos was snatched from his grave, the east Mediterranean holiday island remains at a loss as to who stole it and why. “This type of crime done by professionals (who are) very well-prepared is extremely difficult to clear up,” said Andreas Kapardis, a criminologist at the University of Cyprus. “In a bank robbery you have DNA, cameras, information from the underworld, who spends the money, who recently acquired guns... In this particular case there is no direct intelligence,” he told AFP. Papadopoulos, who was president from 2003 to 2008, died of lung cancer on December 12, 2008 at the age of 74. He was buried in a eucalyptus grove in a cemetery of Deftera village outside the capital Nicosia, but on the eve of the first anniversary of his death his remains disappeared in one of the most shocking crimes in Cypriot history. The grave was plundered as a

general power failure plunged the entire area into darkness made worse by a storm of unusual violence, said a source close to the investigation. The thieves-at least four of them-probably took an hour to desecrate the grave, using special equipment to remove the 250-kilo tombstone before digging up the coffin and removing Papadopoulos’ body. After carefully covering their tracks using lime, they took out the body, which had been embalmed before burial, and left the casket behind as the body was “lighter, easier to conceal,” Kapardis said. The Cyprus police, who have appealed to Interpol, the FBI and Scotland Yard as well as to Greek and Israeli police, scoured the surrounding areas including the Papadopoulos estate. “We are gathering intelligence concerning the case and we evaluate them. We are following all the possible leads,” police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said. Members of Papadopoulos’s family say no ransom demand for the return of the

body has been received. “We are completely in the dark and there is very little evidence,” the late president’s son Nicholas, an MP since 2006, told AFP, dismissing some of the speculation surrounding the case. This includes that it was a political action aimed at a symbol of Greek Cypriot nationalism ahead of the first anniversary of his death or a mafia crime against one of the richest families on the divided island. His son describes as “malicious” theories linking the grave robbery with an old case involving the law firm of the ex-president and the sanctions-busting transfer of money to Cyprus by late Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic. For former foreign minister George Lillikas, the date of the grave robbery was not chosen by chance. “This was a political message to say ‘we can achieve that we want when we want’,” he said. Like many Greek Cypriots, Lillikas said he found it “impossible” that the theft could be the work of his fellow citi-

zens, “because it is beyond our culture.” But Kapardis rejected this argument as based on “prejudices,” and did not rule out the involvement of foreign secret services in the crime. “This act serves the purpose of dividing the people, sending the message that we can get to anybody at any time. It creates a sense of insecurity, anxiety, tension and of course revenge,” he said. Papadopoulos led Greek Cypriots in rejecting a UN plan to reunify the island in a 2004 referendum. Turkish Cypriots backed the plan in a simultaneous vote, but it failed. A divided island joined the European Union the same year. The theft of Papadopoulos’s body came ahead of accelerated UN-led talks that began this month, aimed at giving a boost to the inter-communal peace process with the target of reunifying the island in 2010. Cyprus has been split since Turkey occupied its northern third in 1974 in response to an Athens-engineered Greek Cypriot coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece. —AFP

DEFTERA: A Cypriot forensic experts climb down a ladder to inspect the dug-out grave of former Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos (inset) in the village of Deftera on the outskirts of Nicosia. —AFP

Pope’s failed assassin to be freed after 3 decades in jail Agca to walk free tomorrow

ROME: Pope John Paul II greets Mehmet Ali Agca at Rebibbia prison in this file photo. —AFP

ANKARA: Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who tried to kill pope John Paul II in 1981, walks free tomorrow after almost three decades behind bars, planning to cash in on his turbulent past with million-dollar media projects, and to get married. He has also said he wants to travel to the Vatican to see the tomb of John Paul II, who had visited him in prison in 1983 and forgave him for the attack, and meet with his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. Agca, 52, who will be released from a high-security prison near Ankara, “is in good health, both physically and mentally,” his lawyer Haci Ali Ozhan said. “He wants to get married and will look for a fiancee.” Agca has received more than 50 offers from foreign publishers and movie-makers, eager to buy his

Britain’s Brown seeks to woo middle classes UK rules out US-style bank tax LONDON: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday sought to win over middle class voters ahead of a general election with promises of more jobs as his Labor Party struggles to stay in power. Brown said Labor would create “more middle class jobs than ever before” if the That led the Tories to accuse him of fighting an old-fashioned, left-wing class war in a bid to shore up Labor’s traditional vote - in the face of looming defeat. In a major speech to centre-left activists, Brown said: “Social mobility will be our theme for the coming election and the coming parliamentary term. “A fair society is one where everyone who works hard and plays by the rules has a chance to fulfill their dreams whether that’s owning a bigger house, taking a holiday abroad, buying a new car or starting a small business. “This is the next project for New Labor.... The coming decade will provide the UK with more middle class jobs than ever before.” Brown also wrote in The Guardian newspaper yesterday that he wanted to see “an expanded middle class, not a squeezed middle class”. “Opportunity and reward cannot be hoarded at the top, and it is not enough to protect

people at the bottom,” he said. Labor’s manifesto would be pitched at “anyone who wants to get a home, start a business, build a career or save for their children’s future,” the premier wrote. The Conservatives blasted Brown’s latest move. “One minute Gordon Brown’s a class warrior, the next he is a friend of middle Britain,” said Tory Treasury spokesman Philip Hammond. “Middle Britain won’t forget that it was Gordon Brown who destroyed their pensions, increased their taxes and crippled social mobility. “The idea that a man who has spent his whole career at war with the middle classes can be their champion is laughable.” Meanwhile, Brown’s de facto deputy, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, said veering to the left was “not a winning strategy, as every member of the government

Pro-Russia politician set to sweep Ukraine polls KIEV: Pro-Russia politician Viktor Yanukovich was on course yesterday to sweep the first round of Ukraine’s presidential polls, five years after vote-rigging by his supporters sparked the Orange Revolution. Polls showed Yanukovich with a clear lead going into today’s elections, albeit without the majority required to avoid a second round run-off against his main challenger, the glamorous Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The Orange Revolution protests of late 2004 swept Ukraine’s old order from power and created hopes of a new era of prosperity and European integration for the country of 46 million people bridging the EU and Russia.

party overcomes its lag in opinion polls and wins a national vote which must be held by June. Brown has previously sniped at main opposition centre-right Conservative leader David Cameron for his privileged education and background.

But amid grave public disillusionment after five years of botched reform and political stalemate, the Revolution’s hero, pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, is set to be bundled out in the first round. With Tymoshenko making much of her warm ties with Russia’s strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the outcome of the February 7 run-off is already being seen as good news for the Kremlin, which cut off all business with Yushchenko. After a frenetic campaign that saw the main protagonists exchange stinging insults, yesterday was an official “day of calm” with all campaigning banned and campaign posters removed from the streets. —AFP

knows”. “The election is not won by us, nor is it yet lost,” he told The Daily Telegraph newspaper. Mandelson also said the new 50 percent top income tax rate for those earning more than 150,000 pounds (244,000 dollars, 170,000 euros) a year should be abandoned as soon as the public finances allow it. Elsewhere yesterday, Britain ruled out copying the United States by proposing a special tax on banks to recover state funds used to bailout lenders during the financial crisis. Finance minister Alistair Darling told The Scotsman newspaper that the government would not be matching a proposal announced by US President Barack Obama on Thursday for a new fee on major banking firms. He added that Britain would recover state aid by eventually selling stakes recently built up in rescued British banks. —AFP

story in the hope that he may finally lift the shroud of mystery still surrounding his attack on the pope, Ozhan said. In a series of rambling letters from prison, Agca has fed suggestions he is mentally disturbed, claiming to be the second Messiah, announcing plans to write “the perfect Bible” and volunteering to go to Afghanistan to kill AlQaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Others, however, believe he is a sly operator playing the fool. Agca may say a few words to the press after his release tomorrow, but will not hold a press conference at the request of publishers and producers who are currently negotiating with him, Ozhan said. He plans to stay briefly in an Ankara hotel and then go on a holiday, he added. Agca was a 23-year-old militant of the notorious far-right Grey

Wolves, on the run from Turkish justice facing murder charges, when he resurfaced in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on May 13, 1981 and opened fire on the pontiff driving to an audience in an open vehicle. John Paul II was seriously wounded in the abdomen and Agca spent the next 19 years in Italian prisons. He has claimed the attack was part of a divine plan and given often contradictory statements, frequently changing his story and forcing investigators to open dozens of inquiries. Charges that the Soviet Union and then-communist Bulgaria were behind the assassination attempt were never proved. John Paul II wrote in his book “Memory and Identity” that he was convinced the assassination attempt was planned and commis-

sioned and that Agca was a mere puppet. In 2000, Italy pardoned Agca and extradited him to Turkey, where he was convicted for the murder of prominent journalist Abdi Ipekci, two armed robberies and escaping from prison, crimes all dating back to the 1970s. The Turkish authorities had released Agca in January 2006 amid a legal mix-up, but re-arrested him after eight days when a court ruled that reductions to his jail term under amnesty laws and penal code amendments had been miscalculated. In his most recent letter, released Wednesday, Agca called for a “new American Empire” promoting democracy and peace, condemned terrorism and described Al-Qaeda as “a psychopathic criminal Nazi organization.” —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

10

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Democrats risk disaster in US Senate elections Obama putting his increasingly tattered prestige on the line NEW YORK: President Barack Obama will fly to Boston today to try to avert defeat for the Democrats in a Senate by-election that threatens to end up killing his biggest domestic initiative. Victory for Democrat Martha Coakley

seemed a foregone conclusion in a state where her party outnumbers Republicans three to one. The seat she seeks was occupied by liberal grandee Edward Kennedy for almost five decades until his death in August.

KANDAHAR: Sgt John Hunt from Blackshear (left) and Spc Brian Kolessar from Middletown, New York (right) both from the 293rd Military Police Company out of Fort Stewart, play jump rope with local children during a patrol in Kandahar City. —AP

Army suicides hit grim record 160 US soldiers took their lives in 2009 WASHINGTON: Suicides in the US Army rose to a new record in 2009, with 160 soldiers taking their lives, the military said, calling it a “painful year.” Army leaders had warned that the suicide rate was on track to surpass last year’s toll of 140, but said the causes of the spike remain unclear. “There’s no question that 2009 was a painful year for the army when it came to suicides,” said Colonel Christopher Philbrick, deputy director of an army suicide prevention task force. Ten suspected cases of suicide in December for active-duty soldiers brought the total number for last year to 160, the Pentagon said in a statement. The army has come under severe strain from years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan,

with officers citing repeated deployments and the stress of combat as fueling an increase in depression and marital problems. But the grim toll of suicides was not necessarily triggered by repeated combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the military’s own research. The causes appeared to vary from base to base and about one-third of the soldiers who committed suicide had not yet deployed to combat missions in Afghanistan or Iraq, officials say. Top military leaders, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, have appealed to officers to ensure soldiers who need psychological help do not face ridicule or risk to their careers.

The army has adopted a range of initiatives to try to contain the problem, hiring hundreds of mental health specialists and launching an elaborate scientific research project to try to understand the trend. Officials have also expressed concern about suicides among veterans and among military spouses and family members. Admiral Mullen’s wife, Deborah Mullen, told a conference this week that more needed to be done to monitor suicides of spouses and members of military families, something the Pentagon does not track precisely. Often the spouses of service members are reluctant to seek help as they fear it could damage their loved one’s career prospects, she said. — AFP

Fort Hood rampage an ‘act of terrorism’ WASHINGTON: The shooting rampage at Fort Hood was “an act of terrorism,” a senior US official said, employing a phrase that the Obama administration has previously avoided to describe the attack. The administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the November 5 shooting spree that left 13 dead at the army base in Texas, was a “terrorist tactic” but the suspected gunman’s links to extremist groups remained under investigation. “It certainly in my mind was an act of terrorism,” the official told reporters. He said it was unclear if the suspected gunman, army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan, was directed to act by outside extremists. “This is an ongoing investigation,” said the official. “Motivation is always a difficult thing to determine.” The official made the comment as he presented the findings of a White House review into the assault. Some lawmakers in Congress have been quick to call the Fort Hood rampage an act of terrorism, citing reports Hasan had contacts with a radical Islamic cleric in Yemen, Anwar Al-Awlaqi. The same US-Yemeni cleric also has been tied to the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a US airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day. But officials in President Barack Obama’s administration have tended to be careful not to portray the incident as an act of terrorism. Although the alleged shooter’s possible ties to outside extremists were still being examined, the official told reporters that extremist propaganda and activity coming from Al-Qaeda’s branch in

Yemen was cause for serious concern. “Any interaction with these extremist elements and terrorist elements in Yemen cause me great concern,” he said. The White House review of the circumstances around the Fort Hood shooting showed

that “more rigorous actions” should have been taken prior to the attack and procedures strengthened to ensure better coordination among intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the official said. Asked if the government could have averted the assault at

Fort Hood if key clues had been pieced together in time, the official said: “It’s difficult to say.” But he said: “Certain things went uncovered, both in terms of information, as well as how information was handled and how information was acted upon.” — AFP

TEXAS: In this file photo, President Barack Obama before the start of a memorial services at Fort Hood, Texas.— AP

Foreigners in US army get fast-track to citizenship WASHINGTON: US military personnel who have served since the September 11, 2001 attacks will be put on fast-track to US citizenship, under rules enforced Friday as part of a bid to attract new recruits. “Expediting the citizenship process for service members reflects our commitment to honoring those who come from all over the world to serve our country and become its newest citizens,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. In a bid to boost recruiting numbers, foreigners in the US military can now

apply immediately for citizenship if they served after September 11. If they served during peace time the wait to become eligible has decreased from three years to one. The decision formalizes a deal that has seen an estimated 55,000 foreigners become US citizens since 2001, a spokesperson for the country’s Citizenship and Immigration Services said. The lure of US citizenship has drawn thousands of new recruits, many from Latin America, to US forces eager to snap-up personnel to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. —AFP

But in a breathtaking reversal, Republican candidate Scott Brown is now shown by some polls to be running even-or even ahead. The decision by Obama to campaign for Coakley-breaking from dealing with the Haitian earthquake and overwhelming national issues — underlines the Democrats’ desperation. “It really is just remarkable,” said Columbia University’s political science professor Robert Shapiro. “It reflects the demobilizing, almost demoralizing state of Democratic voters.” The fallout of a Brown win would be huge. First, Democrats would lose their 60th vote in the Senate, stripping them of their current power to override Republican delaying tactics on contentious legislation-particularly health care reform. Obama’s allies are racing to push through the health care package and on Friday claimed to be close to a final deal. Brown says he will vote against the reform package, although, in another twist to the cliffhanger, he would not be immediately able to vote if elected Tuesday, since the special election would first have to be certified. The broader aftershock of a Republican upset would be the energizing effect for the opposition as it campaigns to regain control of Congress in nationwide mid-term elections in November. The fact that much of Brown’s success appears to be based on the support of independent voters is an ominous sign for Democratic strategists. Big guns from both sides have joined the fray in the final days. Friday saw Vice President Joe Biden emailing supporters to rally around Coakley. Former president and Democratic heavyweight Bill Clinton visited Massachusetts, while the Republicans rolled out former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. Obama, who took office a year ago amid surging personal popularity, will put his increasingly tattered prestige on the line with today’s appearance. “The stakes are so high,” he told supporters in a video message earlier this week. Everything from health care to Wall Street regulation and clean energy initiatives “probably rest on one vote in the United States Senate.” Polling is mixed. Some put Coakley well ahead, but a Suffolk University poll released late Thursday had Brown ahead with 50-46. Given the margin of error this is a statistical dead heat, but that alone is astonishing. Leading pollster Scott Rasmussen said turnout will be the key and Democrats will need to get out the vote to be sure of winning. “As always, turnout in special elections is very difficult to project, so all projections must be made with caution,” Rasmussen said. He called a Brown victory a “longshot, low-turnout scenario.” However, “the dynamics of the race still make it likely that Massachusetts voters on January 19 will send another Democrat to Washington.” Obama also referred to the turnout issue, saying in his taped message: “A lot of people don’t even realize there is an election on Tuesday to fill the unexpired term of Ted Kennedy... so please come out and vote.” Coakley is widely seen as having run a lackluster campaign and shown little sign of urgency. Meanwhile, Brown, a state legislator, has become a Republican pin-up. An advocate of waterboarding terrorist suspects-a practice banned by the Obama White House as a form of tortureBrown has also garnered fame as a 1982 winner of Cosmopolitan magazine’s sexiest man competition. Brown, then a student, posed naked in the glossy magazine’s centerfold, with only a carefully placed hand protecting his modesty. — AFP

MIAMI BEACH: Residents of Miami Beach and surrounding neighborhoods deliver goods to a truck being loaded in South Beach to be delivered to the nation of Haiti after a devastating earthquake there earlier this week. —AFP

US government grants Haitian illegals asylum WASHINGTON: The US government has granted temporary asylum to Haitians already living illegally in the United States before their homeland was struck by a devastating earthquake. Rights advocates and lawmakers had earlier called on the White House to grant a special shield to thousands of Haitians who have sneaked into the country over the past years. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Haitians would be granted Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, that would allow undocumented individuals living in the United States to remain for 18 months. That would allow them to renew or obtain drivers licenses, and work legally. “Providing a temporary refuge for Haitian nationals... whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti is part of this administration’s continuing efforts to support Haiti’s recovery,” Napolitano said. The special protection is meant as relief for immigrants from countries reeling from natural disaster or political strife. Supporters of the move argued that the status would also help Haiti to rebuild, as immigrants send remittances to loved ones in the poorest country in the Americas, devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek, who represents a Miami district where many Haitians live, hailed the decision saying it had “been a long time coming.” President Barack Obama “demonstrated that our policies are built upon pillars of morality and justice,” said Meek. The administration “lived up to the full potential of our government and stood shoulder to shoulder with our Haitian neighbors in this time of need.” Before the order was given, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, authorities had been processing deportation orders for 30,000 Haitians now in the United States. The non-profit Migration Policy Institute however said 76,000 illegal immigrants from Haiti live in the United States, with a further 535,000 legally

residing here, two thirds of them being adults of a working age. Rights advocates have long depicted the current immigration laws as uneven, while even proponents of strict curbs on immigration said TPS was appropriate for Haiti now. Some Central Americans have long enjoyed the immigration shield, while Haitians did not. “This is why TPS exists,” said Dustin Carnevale, a spokesman for the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform referring to the quake’s aftermath. “If this isn’t a case for TPS, then what is?” Carnevale warned however that TPS had been “abused” in the past with continued extensions. Immigrants from Honduras and Nicaragua have enjoyed the shield since Hurricane Mitch, which occurred in 1997. Today’s announcement only applies to Haitians who currently reside in the United States, noted Meek. He stressed Haitians in the United States should “urge their family members not to take to sea, which often results in tragic outcomes and will further hamper recovery efforts already underway in Haiti.” Hundreds of Haitians attempt the perilous 700-mile journey to the Florida coast each year, some in rafts, others smuggled by traffickers. But US officials estimate that thousands of Haitians have died at sea in failed bids to flee the poverty, unrest and natural disasters that have beset their homeland, the poorest country in the Americas, for decades. “For this serious situation, there is an increased risk of a crisis of immigrants from Haiti,” acknowledged US Coast Guard spokeswoman Marilyn Fajardo on Friday in Miami. She said the possibility of a large influx of Haitian migrants into the United States was “the subject of ongoing analysis,” but that the Coast Guard has not yet taken any extraordinary measures. The Migration Policy Institute also estimated that one in every 20 Haitians lived in the United States, more than 70 percent of them in New York or Florida. —AFP

Mexico army hands control to police in drug war city Thousands of police fan out in city near U.S. border CIUDAD JUAREZ: Mexico’s army, facing accusations of rights abuses, will give federal police control of security in the country’s most violent drug war city even as cartel killings escalate, police said. Mexico is sending 2,000 elite police to try to quell the fresh surge in murders in Ciudad Juarez near the US border, displacing the army that militarized the city early last year but whose presence has failed to curb violence. “The general coordination of this operation will be via the federal police,” Mexico’s federal police chief, Facundo Rosas, told a news conference in Ciudad Juarez across from El Paso, Texas, as helicopters hovered overhead. Some 2,500 federal police, who are armed with semi-automatic weapons and wear body armor and helmets, will now lead security operations in the manufacturing city as reinforcements arrive over the next few days. Army General Jose de Jesus Espitia, the top military commander in Ciudad Juarez and the surrounding state of Chihuahua, told Reuters the 6,000 troops in the city would not leave immediately and would continue to support police. The move signals a new strategy by President Felipe Calderon in the government’s crackdown in Ciudad Juarez, the bloodiest front in Mexico’s three-year drug war where 2,650 people died in

drug violence last year. Killings have jumped to up to 16 a day since the start of 2010. Residents blame the army for provoking the increase in daily shootings, beheadings and disappearances, which have grown steadily following a brief lull when the troops arrived. Many local residents have held protests calling on the army to leave. Rights groups, including Amnesty International, say soldiers are rounding up innocent city residents in violent raids and beating confessions out of suspects. The army denies any wrongdoing. Federal police are considered to be less heavy-handed and more adept at winning the confidence of locals, although some business leaders accuse them of running extortion rackets in the border city. Calderon’s military strategy has scored recent victories with the capture of a Tijuana drug gang leader on Tuesday and the killing of the head of the powerful Beltran Leyva cartel in western Mexico late last year. But US officials, investors and ordinary Mexicans are concerned that drug violence is overwhelming state security forces. There have been more than 17,000 drug murders since 2006 - most from brutal turf wars between rival gangs-and cartels are growing in power, terrorizing rural communities along smuggling routes. — Reuters

CIUDAD JUAREZ: Forensic experts examine a body as soldiers look on, after gunmen opened fire on several men, killing at least one, in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. —AP


HAITI TRAGEDY

Sunday, January 17, 2010

11

Fear grips Haiti as state dissolves PORT-AU-PRINCE: Machete-wielding thieves have begun roaming the streets of the Haiti at night, residents said, fearful that it was a sign of brewing violence in a nation already scarred by bloodshed. “Men suddenly appeared with machetes to steal money” said Evelyne Buino, a young beautician, describing a long, sleepless night in a neighborhood not far from the ruined city center. “This is just the beginning.” The Haitian capital insecure at the best of times - is now devoid of a functioning police force, bringing fears of a dystopian war of all against all in the wake of Tuesday’s huge earthquake. Buino’s immediate fear comes from a nearby prison, which contained “the worst gangsters in the city.” When the earthquake unleashed its fury on Portau-Prince’s two million residents, it also let loose upon them the 4,000 convicts who escaped from the city’s collapsed jail. The prison’s large blue iron gate remains closed, but its cell block was among the scores of buildings razed by the quake, allowing surviving prisoners to run free. “All the bandits of the city are now on the streets,” a local police man said standing near the jail, rifle at the ready. “They are robbing people. It is a big problem.” With President Rene Preval at the airport struggling to piece together the remains of the state, desperate citizens tried to fill the void. “Organize neighborhood committees to avoid chaos!” radio Metropole implored residents, “to prevent people looting shops and houses.” The station also called for volunteers to protect a company distributing badly-needed drinking water. “People are hungry, thirsty. They are left on their own,” said Leon Meleste, an Adventist sporting a white “New York” baseball cap. “It is increasingly dangerous. The police doesn’t exist, people are doing what they want.” Patricia Etique, a Swiss citizen who divides her time between Europe and Haiti, explained the dire predicament now facing many Haitians. “People had reserves for a few days, but now they are dwindling. They are afraid to go downtown in search of food because it has become too dangerous.” “There is a lot of tension” in the center, she said, near the National Palace, where thousands gathered to flee their devastated homes. Kassana-Jean Chilove, a young mechanic who lost her daughter in the earthquake, expressed fury at the government. “The government is bluffing us,” she said. “There are millions of dollars pouring into Haiti but we see nothing. “At the head of the country a group of friends is divvying up the money. We are going to be in the shit for a long time.” Before the earthquake, “we had bottled water or boiled it for ourselves,” said nurse Marie-Jose Carneli, whose son BryanMichael began screaming from under the rubble a few hours ago. “But now we have no gas or coal and you cannot sterilize it. “I cannot buy anything because my money is stuck in the rubble of my house,” she said, throwing a plastic bottle angrily at an area were pigs were scavenging for food. Further down the street, an old lady sold plates of pasta. One portion costs 100 gourds, around $2.5, 10 times more than before the earthquake. For many facing the desolation, there is only one option, said Carneli, “people who have relatives in the provinces are fleeing the city.” But for thousands of others there are no options left. —AFP

Earthquake-killed dead bodies placed at the morgue of the general hospital in Port-au-Prince following the 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12.

From police station, president tried to ensure Haiti’s survival

Hell in Haiti for destitute families PORT-AU-PRINCE: His house may have been left cracked and damaged, but it is the only one still standing in the street, providing shelter for Eglide Victor and his family in a daily fight for survival. “God works in mysterious ways. He wanted our home to remain intact while others that were better built collapsed,” said Eglide, pointing to his shabbily-built house in the heart of the Haitian capital. His now-precarious home has become a small measure of comfort for Eglide and his many relatives since Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude quake as they mourn their dead, struggle to find food and beat back menacing looters. On Friday, nearly 40 people crowded

into the wood and tin shack even though it threatened to collapse at any moment amid the frequent aftershocks that still rattle the shocked Caribbean nation. The 26-year-old teacher miraculously survived the earthquake that decimated the capital of Portau-Prince killing tens of thousands of Haitians. Initially his family fled their home fearing the flimsy structure could collapse over their heads in another earthquake. They sought refuge in a public park where many Haitians have spent sleepless nights under the stars since Tuesday, but feeling more helpless and vulnerable there, they finally returned home. “We need to protect and guard (our

home). There are many armed men, a lot of looting,” Eglide explained. Henry Claude, the oldest brother in the family, was trapped beneath the mountain of concrete, stones and wires that used to be the oncemajestic cathedral. “Someone spoke to him yesterday. He screamed out his name and said he was surrounded by people. But this morning, he didn’t answer us,” Eglide said softly. His sister, Marie Edithe Saint Juste, was among the first to seek shelter in his home. She left her husband buried in the rubble of their own home. “I felt the tremor and reacted quickly. I left my house with my son and I ran. My husband was inside, but I know he died. I

An injured child is seen after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince.

walked miles to get home to my family. It was a terrible scene,” she recalled. As countless bodies lay piled on the streets or buried in mass graves, the stench of death hung over the city, growing more unbearable by the hour. Former US president Bill Clinton warned that worse might yet be to come for Eglide and his family. “You may see some things in the next seven or 10 days that don’t just tug at your heart strings but upset you,” Clinton told Fox News. “You may see a lot of very angry people, you may see some people looting, you may see some people doing and saying some things you don’t like.” When the first

foreign contingents of humanitarian aid finally reached Eglide’s neighborhood on Friday, the family’s despair lifted slightly after three days of “total abandonment.” Desperately they have been searching for food and water, particularly fearful of contracting deadly water-borne diseases like cholera and dysentery from unclean supplies. “I have this bag of water for the day. I have to ration it for my three-year-old son,” said Victor’s cousin Norberta Noiset, showing her precious asset. “We had many needs in the past, but now we have even more, it’s unimaginable. Today, I don’t know what we will eat. —AFP

People cover their faces as they walk past bodies lying in the street in Port-au-Prince. —AP/AFP photos

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Working from a police station close to the airport, the Haitian government is trying to provide some governance to the country, whose main symbols of power have been torn down by Tuesday’s devastating earthquake. The National Palace, a big white structure that was home to the presidency, was destroyed, along with several other buildings that housed ministries. “We have decided to temporarily place the seat of the presidency and government in these police barracks to be closer to our international partners,” says President Rene Preval, walking around in shirtsleeves. The airport, which serves as a link between Haiti and the outside world, has been taken over by hundreds of American troops who try to organize delivery of aid. The seat of government may move in a day or two, say people from the president’s entourage. The president works in an office protected by two guards from his security detail. In another office, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive is holding a meeting with several ministers, who can still move around the city. —AFP

Haitian mass graves receive unclaimed, unidentified bodies

A hand of a dead person appears from the rubbles in Port au Prince, three days after an earthquake majoring 7.0 only open-ended Richter scale hit the Haitian capital.

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Every five minutes, a vehicle pulled up to the gates of Port-auPrince’s cemetery, delivering another corpse to a mass grave dug by authorities trying to clear the broken city’s streets of the dead. “We have lost any dignity in death,” said Mezen Dieu Justi, an old man barely able to contain his nausea and tears before the grim spectacle. The massive earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday has produced a steady stream of bodies, with estimates of the death toll well into the tens of thousands. Many families confronted with their final glimpse

of a loved one simply lost control. “It’s my father, my dear father,” screamed one young woman, who fainted at the sight of the mass grave filled with human bodies. One woman, as though possessed, lowered herself into the grave saying she felt more comfortable among the dead. Bystanders eventually forced her back out again. “We have lost our senses. Death has driven us insane,” said one Haitian, whose relative’s body had been transported to the grave for burial. “For three days my sister was dead in her house. Finally we brought her

here. We have lost hope of giving her a dignified burial, a coffin, the blessing of a priest,” sobbed Florence, 40, a teacher. Across Port-au-Prince, the dead litter the streets, stripped of human dignity, decomposing and covered in flies. The efforts of recently-arrived foreign aid workers seem almost inconsequential by comparison with the scale of the devastation wrought by the quake. Their work is both a race against time to save people who may still be alive under the rubble strewn across the city and also an effort to transport overwhelming numbers of corpses to the

nearest mass grave. Morgue officials said they no longer have the means to move the bodies, forcing aid workers to transport scores of unidentified and dust-covered cadavers. Families waited patiently as rescue teams dug through the rubble, waiting to see if they could recognize a loved one. “The truth is that we don’t know what will be done with the dead,” said Joseph Tihaly, a Haitian volunteer coordinating the delivery and identification of corpses abandoned at the general hospital’s morgue. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

US still seeking Chinese help on many fronts WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama came into office talking tough on China. The emerging superpower, he promised, would be treated as a competitor, not coddled as a friend or shunned as an enemy. The stern words of his presidential campaign, however, faded almost as soon as Obama settled in at the White House one year ago. During his first year, Obama’s administration postponed a meeting with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan monk reviled by Beijing, declined to label China a currency manipulator and was cautious in its criticism of China’s human rights record. Obama’s China policy has been designed to gain concessions from a country crucial to solving global crises. Yet the United States has seen little benefit on many of its pressing problems, including nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea and tackling cli-

mate change and economic worries. Obama’s top diplomats urge patience as they work to strengthen what they call the world’s most important, and most complex, relationship. China has loomed large during Obama’s first year, making room for itself at a crowded foreign policy table that included wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That will continue. Still, the more Obama portrays Beijing’s cooperation as crucial, the more Americans will want to see action from China and then be disappointed if little comes from US efforts. So far, China’s ally North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear program. Beijing has shied away from tough sanctions against Iran and is wary about making climate change commitments that it feels would hinder its economy. Businesses and labor groups say China continues to violate trade rules

and manipulate its currency. As Obama enters his second year in office, ties between the two powers could fray. The Obama administration is preparing for a probable visit next month from the Dalai Lama and a widely expected arms sale to Taiwan, the self-governing island China claims as its territory. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this week that the United States will continue to sell arms to Taiwan and support the Dalai Lama. But, she said, the Obama administration, through its efforts to engage China in 2009, has created a relationship that “doesn’t go off the rails when we have differences of opinion.” That claim will be tested in 2010, which has started with tension. Internet giant Google threatened this week to shut down its China-

based site over censorship and e-mail hacking. The United States says it will lodge a formal complaint to Beijing on the alleged hacking attacks. Trade and economics continue as irritants. Congress could face pressure to enact punishing legislation against China in response to claims by American manufacturers that Beijing’s management of its currency has caused huge trade deficits for the United States. US companies say manipulation makes Chinese products cheaper in America and American goods more expensive in China. Obama has so far declined to cite China officially as a currency manipulator. His administration did act against China, however, on two fronts: he responded to labor pressure by slapping duties on Chinese-made tires and steel pipes.

Human rights are another point of contention. Obama has been criticized for playing down US worries about rights abuses. Clinton delighted her hosts in Beijing in February when she said the United States would not let its human rights worries interfere with cooperation with China. Obama also sparked anger when he postponed a meeting with the Dalai Lama until after a visit with Chinese leaders in Beijing in November. His deputies said that more could be accomplished on Tibet issues if an Obama-Dalai Lama meeting was not hanging over Obama’s summit with President Hu Jintao. China, however, remains as unyielding as before the summit in its hostility toward the Dalai Lama, who says he wants greater autonomy, but not independence, for Tibet. — AP

Haiti aid a telling test of Japan’s Ozawa vows to China-Taiwan relations stay put amid scandal ‘One of the world’s trickiest relationships’

Election loss could revive policy deadlock TOKYO: The No 2 executive in Japan’s ruling party vowed yesterday to stay in his post despite a funding scandal that could scupper the party’s chances of winning a mid-year election and raise the risk of policy deadlock. Democratic Party

Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa was credited by many with engineering the party’s huge election win last August and his skills are thought vital to winning this year’s upper house poll, as well passing laws and deciding policies. But the scandal is likely to further erode voter backing for the Democrats as the opposition turns up the heat in a session of parliament from Monday, where the government aims to pass an extra budget for this fiscal year to prop up the weak economy. A combative Ozawa, speaking at the party’s annual convention, lashed out at Tokyo prosecutors who late on Friday arrested a Democratic Party lawmaker who had worked as his aide as well as another ex-aide in connection with the funding scandal. A third aide, on trial in a separate case, was arrested again yesterday. “I don’t know if it was deliberate or not, but the arrests seem to have been timed to coincide with our party convention. I certainly cannot accept this way of doing things,” Ozawa said. “I will resolutely push for my own beliefs against this way of doing things, and I am determined to fight,” he added to applause from assembled Democratic Party lawmakers. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who analysts say relies heavily on Ozawa’s clout, said he wanted his lieutenant to stay. “Secretary-General Ozawa has said that he has not broken any laws. As the leader of the Democratic Party, I believe in Secretary-General Ozawa,” said the prime minister, who himself has had to apologize for a separate funds scandal. Doubts about Hatoyama’s ability to make tough decisions have already eroded the government’s ratings to about 50 percent from early highs above 70 percent.

TOKYO: People wave Japanese national flags as they denounce the convention of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and its General Secretary Ichiro Ozawa (inset) near the venue in Tokyo yesterday. Ichiro Ozawa, the kingmaker of Japan’s ruling coalition said yesterday he had no plans to quit over his alleged involvement in a growing political funding scandal, and vowed to clear his name. — AFP

N Korea plays sanctions card in nuclear standoff SEOUL: Last month, North Korea got a coveted visit to Pyongyang by a top US official and hinted it was ready to resume negotiations on giving up its nuclear program. Now, the country appears to be backpedaling, raising the bar by demanding an end to international sanctions before any talks. The move sets up a probable new roadblock, because it’s highly unlikely the United Nations, the United States and others would roll back sanctions. It also is the latest sign that the punitive measures appear to be taking a toll on the totalitarian regime of Kim Jong Il. The UN Security Council slapped on tough new sanctions last June, strengthening an arms embargo and authorizing ship searches on the high seas, after North Korea carried out a long-range missile launch and its second underground nuclear test. “What is most serious is that the export of weapons has been restricted,” said Yoo Hoyeol, a professor of North Korean studies at Korea University near Seoul. Military exports are an important source of hard cur-

POCHEON: A US Apache helicopter takes to the air during an aerial gunnery exercise at a military firing range in Pocheon, near the heavily-fortified border with North Korea yesterday. Japan and South Korea brushed aside North Korea’s call for early talks on a peace treaty, saying they have no plans to lift sanctions unless it first makes progress in scrapping nuclear weapons. — AFP rency for the North, which has long been suspected of selling weapons and missiles to some Middle East countries. The sanctions have likely scared off potential customers, Yoo said. There have been several high-profile weapons seizures or incidents in the past six

months. The most recent incident was in December, when a cargo plane that left North Korea with 35 tons of weapons was seized by Thai authorities during a refueling stop in Bangkok. Paperwork seen by arms trafficking researchers indi-

cates the weapons may have been headed to Iran. North Korea lobbied to have the sanctions eased when Stephen Bosworth, the special US envoy to North Korea, visited Pyongyang in December. He responded that wouldn’t happen until North Korea returned to the nuclear negotiations and made significant progress in getting rid of its atomic weapons. He also said, however, that the North had agreed on the need to resume the talks, which was seen as a positive sign. In Tokyo, South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myunghwan and his Japanese counterpart reaffirmed Washington’s stance, saying yesterday that the lifting of sanctions could be discussed in the UN Security Council after the North makes progress toward denuclearization, according to Yonhap news agency. North Korea broke off negotiations more than a year ago. Dubbed the six-party talks, they are a joint effort of the US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea to end the North’s nuclear weapons program.—AP

WHO’S IN CHARGE? A lack of clarity about who is in charge of policies has worried financial markets as Japan grapples with a weak economy, and ballooning public debt. Machinery orders slumped to a record low in November, adding to fears of a return to recession that would lead to calls for more spending. Recent polls show the decline in voter ratings had leveled off despite last week’s resignation of Japan’s elderly finance minister and some market-jolting comments about currencies by his successor. But the widening scandal could again worry markets. The Democrats, who have promised to reduce bureaucrats’ grip on policy, reorient spending toward consumers, and steer a diplomatic course less dependent on ally Washington, have a huge majority in parliament’s powerful lower house. But they need to win outright control of the upper chamber to reduce dependence on two small coalition parties that often take different stances on economic and foreign policies. A loss by the ruling bloc would create a potential policy deadlock, since the upper chamber can delay legislation. Ozawa has presented the Democrats with a dilemma ever since his small Liberal Party merged with them in 2003, since they rely on his skills even as his image puts their popularity at risk. But many analysts say the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, periodically racked by scandals during lengthy rule, may not benefit much from a fall in support for the government. Instead, voters may opt for smaller groups of lawmakers who have already left or are considering breaking off from the LDP. “At this point, it’s unclear the LDP is going to be the beneficiary,” said Sophia University professor Koichi Nakano. “The biggest damage done is to Japanese democracy, its credibility, right at the time when the alternation in power happened.” Japanese media say prosecutors are probing the source of funds improperly reported by Ozawa’s funding group, and suspect construction firms seeking government contracts were involved. A protege of former LDP kingpin Kakuei Tanaka, considered by many the father of Japan’s modern pork-barrel politics, Ozawa left the party in 1993 and has spent the years since working to oust his ex-colleagues. He took over as Democratic Party leader in 2006 but stepped down last May after a former aide was charged with accepting illegal corporate donations. — Reuters

BEIJING: One of the world’s trickiest relationships is being tested in devastated Haiti, where China and Taiwan are rushing aid to one of Taipei’s few remaining diplomatic allies. Taiwan even announced that its president would personally deliver earthquake aid later this month. Since the two sides split amid civil war six decades ago, China has used aid to try to persuade countries to cut relations with Taiwan and weaken the self-governing island’s claim to independence. Meanwhile, Taiwan has used financial support to try to keep the few small, mostly impoverished nations that recognize it. But while the aid to Haiti comes with large Chinese flags on display, analysts say it has no apparent strings attached, thanks to improved relations between the two sides and China’s settling into its role of global power and the responsibilities that come with it. “What’s really interesting here is that China apparently is providing Haiti with assistance without making any demands regarding Haiti’s relationship with Taiwan,” said Taiwan scholar Shelley Rigger of North Carolina’s Davidson College. A cargo plane left Beijing yesterday carrying $2 million of China’s promised $4.2 million aid package for the quake-hit island, with which it has no diplomatic ties. State-run Chinese media has devoted pages of coverage to the quake, and China Central Television reported Friday that the Chinese rescue team was the only one working overnight to look for those trapped in the rubble. Instead of tussling with Taiwan, a newly confident China probably sees the quake as a chance to project its “soft power” to a wider audience, said China expert Steve Tsang of Oxford University. “From Beijing’s perspective, it is desirable not to be overshadowed by Taiwan’s rescue efforts and relatively easy and inexpensive to play a positive humanitarian role in the, as it were, backyard of the US.”

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is one of just 23 countries that recognize Taiwan. Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is expected to land in the neighboring Dominican Republic, another Taiwan supporter, to deliver the Haiti aid sometime between Jan 25-30. Taiwan has already pledged $5 million. China has used aid in the past to try and pressure Haiti to break its Taiwan ties, Rigger said. And when they sent United Nations peacekeepers to Haiti in 2004, many assumed part of that mission was to court Haiti to recognize Beijing. China’s approach this time may have to do with the improving relations with Taiwan since Ma took office 20 months ago with the aim of toning down the hostile relations between China and his predecessor, Chen Shui-bian. One of China’s major victories when Chen was president was convincing longtime Taiwan ally Costa Rica to switch sides. Since Ma came to power in May 2008, however, China and Taiwan have made what many call a “diplomatic truce,” putting the wrestling over diplomatic recognition aside. Taiwan has also stopped trying to use aid to win recognition from countries. It is also possible China’s rapid and visible response to the Haiti disaster may be far more simple: Beijing is recognizing that “politicizing this horrific tragedy would be wrong at every level,” Rigger said. China is still raw from its May 2009 earthquake in southwestern Sichuan province, which left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday said the aid was not political. “When China suffered from the Sichuan earthquake, other countries offered aid. Now we can help,” she said. She didn’t give her name, citing ministry policy. “China is a big country and it is shouldering its humanitarian responsibilities,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at People’s University in Beijing. —AP

Church vandalized as ‘Allah’ row rages Rum bottle thrown at Malaysia mosque amid tension KUALA LUMPUR: A church in southern Malaysia has been vandalized, apparently the latest in a string of attacks on Christian houses of worship in this Muslim-majority nation, police said yesterday. Eleven churches - as well as one Sikh temple - have been damaged since a court ruled late last month that non-Muslims can use the word Allah to refer to God. The decision angered many Muslims, who say the word is exclusive to their religion and its use by others could confuse Muslims into converting. Officials at a church in southern Negeri Sembilan state found a window at their building smashed late Friday, said Saiful Azly Kamaruddin, a district police chief. He said police were still investigating, but the attack appeared to be vandalism. Police have stepped up patrols and deployed more plainclothes officials in the area, he said. Earlier Friday, police charged a Malaysian student was charged Friday after allegedly posting comments on Facebook about throwing a gasoline bomb. Mohamad Tasyrif Tajudin, 25, allegedly wrote, “You want me to throw a petrol (gasoline) bomb there? We can negotiate the price” in a recent Facebook discussion over the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims. Many of the churches vandalized were hit by Molotov Cocktails. He was charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of the Internet, which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine if found guilty, said deputy public prosecutor Dusuki Mokhtar. “He was not the one who prepared the firebombs or committed the crime. But he misused Facebook with the intention to cause disturbance. Posting such remarks is sensitive and dangerous,” Dusuki told The Associated Press. Mohamad Tasyrif didn’t enter a plea and will remain in police custody as the case was postponed until Monday, he said. Since Jan 8, unidentified attackers have hurled Molotov Cocktails at eight churches, one of which was partially gutted. Two other churches were vandalized with paint, and a Sikh temple was pelted with stones, apparently because Sikhs use the word Allah in their scriptures. No arrests have been made in connection with the attacks. The office of lawyers representing Christians in their legal fight for the right to use Allah was also ransacked. The attacks followed a Dec 31 court decision overturning a government order that forbade a Catholic newspaper from using the word Allah as a translation for God in its Malay-language edition. The ruling upset many Muslims in Malaysia. Malay Muslims comprise about 60 percent of the country’s 28 million people, with 2.5 million

NEGRI SEMBILAN: This handout image received from Malaysian opposition MP Anthony Loke shows the burnt door of the Sidang Injil Borneo Church in the central state of Negri Sembilan. — AFP Christians. The dispute has hardened a longstanding sense of alienation among the nonMuslim minority, threatening 40 years of ethnic peace and stability that underpins Malaysia’s economic success. The government has condemned the attacks on the churches and has vowed to uphold the freedom of religion guaranteed to minorities by the constitution. In another development, vandals threw a rum bottle at a mosque in the first attack on a Muslim house of worship after almost a dozen similar assaults on churches in Malaysia the past week, police said yesterday. Police have dismissed the attacks as vandalism, but they have caused disquiet in multiracial Malaysia and raised fears of more widespread religious tensions. One Sikh temple and 11 churches have been hit - most of them with molotov cocktails - since Jan 8. — Agencies


INTERNATIONAL

Sunday, January 17, 2010

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India’s poor scramble for protection from winter chill NEW DELHI: Barefoot and carrying a thin pillow and two soiled rugs, Kunj Bihari ushers his wife and three children inside a night shelter where New Delhi’s homeless seek protection from the winter weather. But authorities refuse to let them stay, saying there is no room inside the makeshift plastic tents hastily erected by the government near a crematorium. “This happens every night. We have to search for hours to find a warm place to sleep,” said Bihari, who sells balloons and pens during the day. Life for India’s poorest is a grim struggle for survival, but the unusually cold winter this year has made sleeping on the streets a potentially deadly ordeal. In the last two weeks more than 300 people have died of cold in north India, government officials say, as hundreds of thousands sleep in the open with nothing more than thin blankets to keep them warm. Many huddle over small fires burning scrap wood, tyres and rubbish to generate a little heat. Charity workers in the Indian capital have accused authorities of worsening the suffering by shutting down

dozens of night shelters at a time when the city’s homeless most need protection from the elements. Some of the closures are part of comprehensive redevelopment plans under way ahead of the Commonwealth Games in October, though the government says it is arranging substitute facilities. “Poor people die in the cold snap. The government has still not woken up to save them,” said Miloon Kothari, of charity Urban Rights Forum: For the Homeless. “The homeless urban poor in this country are marginalized, labeled as encroachers and often accused of making the city’s appearance ugly.” An acute shortage of state-run night shelters has forced more than 100,000 people in Delhi alone to shiver through the night on pavements, below flyovers and around religious sites. “It is a shame. At one end, we spend millions of rupees to beautify the city, make fancy accommodation for ministers, while at the other end we have nothing for the poor,” Kothari said. “There seems to be no balance and no dignity.” A majority of the homeless are manual laborers who have migrated

‘Who cares for us? We might as well die in the cold’

NEW DELHI: Indian homeless people sleep on a pavement in New Delhi. Life for India’s poorest is never less than a grim struggle for survival, but the cold winter weather has made sleeping on the streets a potentially deadly ordeal. — AFP

to urban centers from their villages in search of employment. After a day at work earning as little as 150 rupees (three dollars), they bed down wherever they can avoid the attention of the police or criminal gangs. “The poor are beaten by the police if they sleep on the road, there are no night shelters made for them. Should they vanish into thin air?” asked Uma Nath, an aid worker who provides temporary shelter for the urban poor. Activists said the number of temporary night shelters in Delhi fell from 46 to 24 in the last year despite an increase in the number of homeless. Winter temperatures in the city are hardly extreme-rarely dropping below four degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) - but still lives have been lost. “Who cares for us? We might as well die in the cold,” said 45-year-old Ramnek Dhua, a laborer, while sitting outside a tent. Dhua’s wife and children were not allowed to sleep in the men’s night shelter as authorities feared for her safety. “But I can be raped more easily when I sleep out on the road,” said Dhua’s wife Janatika, covering her arms with

threadbare old clothes. The family’s woes were accentuated in December when Delhi’s municipal rulers tore down one large night shelter, where 300 people could sleep, as part of a park renovation scheme ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Human rights activists protested against the demolition and accused the government of putting cosmetic improvements above human life. “The government hates their presence. The poor contribute nothing to the economy, and people say they dent the city’s international image by displaying grim poverty on every road,” said Nath. But city authorities challenged allegations made by activists and said they were doling out firewood and blankets, and putting relief measures in place as the cold snap was forecast to continue. “We will soon make shelters and provide blankets and television in all these centers to make the poor comfortable,” said Deep Mathur, spokesman for the Delhi Municipal Corporation. “Right now, we are setting up tents to help people in the short term.” — AFP

Karzai’s new Afghan cabinet picks vetoed HERAT: An Afghan policeman (left) stands guard near six arrested smugglers in the western city of Herat. Afghan Police arrested six smugglers with 52 kilograms of heroin in the western city of Herat, located close to the Iranian border. — AFP

Afghan town evicts addicts in desperate attempt to clean up GHAZNI: Tired of watching their young people descend into drug addiction, village elders in a remote Afghan region are taking action to get them to kick the habit - or get kicked out of town. Heroin addicts in a corner of eastern Ghazni province are being set deadlines to quit after tribal elders decided the only way to deal with the worsening problem was to cajole, threaten, punish and, finally, evict them. First comes a warning, then a fine. If they ignore that, they face having their houses burned down. If the addicts-and those supplying them with the heroin that has eaten into the fabric of traditional life across the country-still fail to comply, they are forced to leave, said elder Mohammad Razaq. “Heroin addiction among our young people was destroying us,” he said. “This destruction was getting worse and worse every day and we felt that we had no choice but to deal with it in this way. “Since the elders made the decision, we have evicted more than 200 addicts from villages in this district. They have all been told that until they give up their addiction, they are not welcome back.” Afghanistan is the world’s biggest producer of opium, the raw material of heroin, most of it grown in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, where it helps fund an increasingly vicious Taleban insurgency. The illicit industry has an estimated value of around three billion dollars a year, making it far and away the country’s biggest export earner. Experts say the relationship between drugs and insurgency is becoming inextricably entwined as smugglers pay the Taleban to protect shipment routes taking opium and heroin to Pakistan and Iran, bringing back guns and fighters. The UN office on drugs and crime (UNODC) said last month the 2009 potential gross export value of opium from Afghanistan was 2.8 billion dollars, or about a quarter of gross domestic product. Lower cultivation, output and falling opium prices have seen its export value drop 18 percent, it said, adding “market forces are moving against the Afghan drugs trade”. Others,

however, point to rising stockpiles and say the kingpins of the trade are hoarding their product to push prices up. In a country with few reliable statistics-where even the population is a rough estimate of 24-30 million-it is impossible to know how many drug addicts there are. A UN report on usage rates among Afghans is due in March but in the meantime UNODC says simply: “Conflict, displacement, economic hardship and overflowing opium production have generated widespread drug abuse in Afghanistan.” Ghazni is hardly a black spot on Afghanistan’s drug map, but it has not escaped the addiction problems that plague most of the country. Dr Ismail Ibrahimzai, head of the Ghazni provincial hospital, estimated the province has around 20,000 addicts, 80 percent of them men, 13 percent women and seven percent children. He sees no merit in trying to cut addiction by force. “The health ministry has set up treatment centers for addicts and mobile groups are working hard to cut the number of addicts,” he said, adding that an estimated 14 percent of Ghazni’s addicts have registered for treatment. “It is not possible to cure addiction by force, we have to encourage addicts to come to the treatment centers when they are ready. “If there is no support network for them, and no health care, suddenly being forced to stop the drugs can be life-threatening,” he said. The villagers of Qarabagh, however, could see no alternative. “The number of addicts increased in recent years and most of them were people who had come back from foreign countries such as Iran,” Qarabagh resident Mohammad Nabi said, referring to the millions who fled war and then the 1996-2001 Taleban regime into Iran and Pakistan. “The government has done nothing to prevent addiction or get rid of producers and sellers, so we had no choice if we wanted to stop our children from destroying themselves,” he said. The first step in the campaign, said elder Razaq, was to identify producers, traffickers and sellers and “tell them that if they don’t stop, they will be fined 100,000 afghani (2,000 dollars).— AFP

US, Norway deny funding ouster of Sri Lanka leader COLOMBO: The United States and Norway yesterday denied funding Sri Lanka’s main opposition to defeat President Mahinda Rajapakse’s reelection bid later this month. The US embassy in Colombo said it “strongly” rejected the charges made by a ruling party legislator that he was given 30 million rupees (265,000 dollars) that had come from the US and Norwegian embassies to defect to the opposition. Legislator Mohamed Musammil told reporters in Colombo Friday that he was given a suitcase full of the cash to defect and support the main opposition presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka. “This is the money which had come from the US embassy, the Norwegian embassy,” Musammil said. The US and Norwegian embassies in separate statements denied the allegation and said they were ready to work with whomever won the January 26 election. The two

countries had backed Colombo’s failed peace bid with Tamil separatists. “The United States is neutral and we strongly condemn allegations that we are supporting one side over another,” the US statement said. Norway, which was the peace broker until the Rajapakse administration withdrew from a faltering truce and escalated a military campaign against the Tigers early last year, denied it was funding the opposition in Colombo. “The accusation is untrue and totally unacceptable,” the Norwegian embassy said in a statement. “Norway has never-and will never-interfere in an election in another country.” Rajapakse is seeking re-election after government troops in May wiped out the Tamil Tiger rebels and ended a 37-year separatist conflict that claimed up to 100,000 people, according to United Nation figures. — AFP

KABUL: The Afghan parliament rejected over half of President Hamid Karzai’s second slate of cabinet nominees yesterday, including two out of three women, dealing him a second major political blow in as many weeks. Several key ministers were confirmed, including for Foreign Affairs, Justice and Counter-Narcotics, but 10 out of 17 candidates were voted down, meaning Karzai is still without confirmed leaders for over a third of his ministries. Parliament unexpectedly threw out the majority of his first picks in a vote two weeks ago, a move hailed as positive for democracy but a setback for Afghan reconstruction after months of uncertainty caused by last year’s fraud-marred presidential poll. The second round of vetoes will prolong the turmoil at a time when the insurgency is worsening and after a year when record numbers of foreign troops and civilians were killed. In an embarrassing development, it also emerged yesterday that the nominee for the ministry of rural development was underage, a government official said. The candidate was 31 years old while under the constitution the minimum age is 35. Karzai has been under intense pressure from his Western backers, and frustrated Afghans,

10 of 17 candidates thrown out

KABUL: An Afghan parliament member votes for the cabinet in Kabul yesterday. Afghanistan’s parliament started yesterday on President Hamid Karzai second list of nominees for the new Cabinet. — AP to choose ministers deemed clean and competent. Those who were approved in the first round of voting were mostly liked by foreign diplomats. The second round of picks are less well-known but there was widespread unhappiness about the choice of Zarar Ahmad Muqbel, a former Interior

Minister who international diplomats lobbied hard to have excluded from earlier cabinets. Karzai’s spokesman has said he has a list of backup candidates to replace any rejected in this round of voting, and a source at one ministry had earlier said he was vetting two other prospective nominees. But he faces a

tight schedule to get them in place before travelling to the London conference, a vital international forum on the future of Afghanistan, on Jan 28. DISAPPOINTMENT FOR WOMEN The rejection of two women, out of a record three nominated for the cabinet, was a disap-

pointment to activists and women who had praised Karzai for a bold choice. “It’s probably still too early to expect this much from a parliament that is led by conservative elements,” said Orzala Ashraf Nemat, an activist and member of the Afghan women’s network, which was co-founded by rejected Women’s Affairs Ministry nominee Palwasha Hassan. “I’m sure the reason they didn’t vote for her is that they are too scared of women’s empowerment,” Nemat added of Hassan. The only woman approved was Amena Afzali as minister for martyrs and disabled. Parliamentarian Daoud Sultanzoy had warned ahead of the vote that many of the candidates would be rejected because they presented weak programs to parliament or seemed only interested in personal gain. “One of the things that I think is very disturbing is that some of the people that were introduced were coming with political baggage, with political influence from those circles who are seeking influence in the government,” Sultanzoy said, declining to give names. Karzai has yet to suggest a candidate for the ministry of energy and water after his wish to retain Ismail Khan, a former anti-Taliban guerrilla leader, was rejected by parliament. — Reuters

Pakistan’s soldiers attacked in Kashmir MUZAFFARABAD: A suicide bomber attacked a military vehicle in the Pakistani part of the Kashmir region wounding two soldiers, and a US envoy said he did not know if the Pakistani Taleban’s leader was killed by a drone. Military officials said earlier two soldiers had been killed and four yesterday but they said later their information was incorrect and two soldiers were wounded. The Pakistani part of the disputed Kashmir region had for years been free of Islamist militant violence until several attacks there over the past year. The violence fuelled concern Pakistani Taleban militants battling the state are trying to expand their campaign from their northwestern heartland on the Afghan border to stretch the security forces. The bomber attacked the vehicle as it was travelling through the southern part of Kashmir, near the town of Rawalakot and not far from the de facto border with India, the officials said. “A man jumped on a military vehicle at a turning in the road,” said a military official who declined to be identified. Pakistan is facing US pressure to fight Afghan Taleban militants in lawless border enclaves who infiltrate Afghanistan to battle US-led forces there, while also struggling against its own home-grown Taleban insurgency. Militant violence has

KASHMIR: A Pakistani soldier (left) stands next to the severed head of a suicide bomber after an attack on an army vehicle in Dothan, some 145 kilometers south of Muzaffarabad, the region’s capital yesterday. — AFP intensified since mid-October when the army launched an offensive against the Pakistani Taleban in their South Waziristan bastion on the Afghan border. The United States has stepped up missile strikes by pilotless drone aircraft on militants in northwestern Pakistan. Security officials said a drone targeted Pakistani Taleban leader Hakimullah Mehsud on

Thursday but there has been no confirmation of his fate. “I’ve heard every conceivable version of what’s happened and I don’t know.” the US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said. “But if he’s still alive he’s one of the worst people on earth. Absolutely vicious,” Holbrooke told reporters during a visit to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

MEHSUD WOUNDED? The Taleban said on Thursday Mehsud had escaped the strike but one militant official said on Friday he had been wounded. Apparently determined to show their leader was alive, the Taleban on Friday produced a tape recording which they said was of Mehsud. But there was no proof it was him speaking or of when it was made. The United States has

stepped up its drone attacks since Dec. 30 when a suicide bomber killed seven CIA employees at a base near the Pakistani border in Afghanistan. The attack by a double agent was the second worst on the CIA in its history. Ten days later, Mehsud appeared sitting beside the bomber in a farewell video, creating the impression that his Taleban movement had become a bigger force to be reckoned with. US drones struck twice in northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing seven militants, Pakistani officials said. Pakistan says the drones are a violation of its sovereignty, even though they have killed high-profile Al- Qaeda and Taleban figures fighting the government. Pakistan also says its security policy will not be dictated by outsiders, brushing off the US pressure to attack Afghan Taleban factions. Pakistan sees the Afghan factions, which are not attacking inside Pakistan, as useful tools to counter the growing influence of old rival India in Afghanistan. Pakistan also believes the United States will soon withdraw from Afghanistan leaving the country in chaos when Pakistan will need allies among warring factions to pursue its interests. The foreign ministers of Iran and Afghanistan were in Islamabad yesterday for talks with their Pakistani counterpart on regional issues. — Reuters


NEWS

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

TUNDLA, India: A crowd gathers at the site of a train accident about 25 km from Agra yesterday. The Kalindi Express train rammed into the stationary Shram Shakti Express owing to poor visibility amid thick fog, according to a news agency. — AP

Kuwait needs security, not money from Iraq Continued from Page 1 Al-Qabas newspaper in an interview due to appear today. “Let me be very clear. We have not asked Iraq to repay the debt,” said Sheikh Mohammad, according to an advance copy of the interview received by AFP. He also urged Iraq to help create the atmosphere conducive that could allow the Kuwaiti parliament to write off the debt. “We want Iraq to be a good and safe neighbour,” said the Kuwaiti minister who com-

plained that some Iraqi MPs still praise former leader Saddam Hussein for invading the oil-rich emirate. Kuwait loaned Iraq an estimated $16 billion during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war. Iran and Baghdad’s new leaders have repeatedly asked the state to forgive the loans. Kuwait is also owed around $25 billion in war reparations by Baghdad, but Sheikh Mohammad said compensation “has its own international mechanism”. Iraqi forces invaded and occupied Kuwait in Aug 1990 before they were driv-

en out by a US-led international coalition seven months later. “The issue is not financial ... there are deep concerns among a large section of Kuwaitis about policies of the new Iraq,” Sheikh Mohammad said. He said Kuwait was concerned over lawlessness in southern Iraq, a possible sectarian conflict that could spillover to Kuwait and Al-Qaeda militants moving into Kuwait from Iraq. Sheikh Mohammad also urged help for Yemen to prevent it becoming a centre for Al-Qaeda, adding that the organisation has

Brotherhood leader is in theory also the chief of these, though in practice groups in other countries are autonomous. But Badie, the movement’s eighth supreme guide since it was founded in 1928, may be a more divisive figure than his predecessor and his appointment signals a return to a less highprofile public role. It comes after a bitter dispute between conservatives in the group, who place the emphasis on strengthening the organisation and ideological outreach, and reformists advocating a more active public role. Akef resigned last year before the end of his term in office after conservatives blocked the promotion of Essam Erian, associated with the group’s reformist wing, to the politburo. In subsequent politburo elections, the conservatives won all the seats but one, occupied by Erian. Born in 1943 in the Nile Delta town of

Mahalla El-Kubra, Badie was jailed for nine years in the 1960s after being accused of membership in a Brotherhood paramilitary cell that allegedly planned the overthrow of the government. Thousands of Islamists were also imprisoned at the time and influential radical Islamist thinker Sayyid Qutb was executed. Badie later became responsible for ideological education in the group. Some of the reformists have been wary of him because of his sympathies with Qutb, who advocated armed struggle to impose Islamic law. He was arrested again in 1999 and sentenced to another nine years by a military tribunal, but served only four. “Badie is one of the sons of the 1965 Organisation. They were introduced to what was a military organisation that preached revolution,” said Abdel Moneim Mahmud, a journalist associated with the group’s reformist wing. “To be realistic, the organisation never actually did anything.

But at the end of the day it was the door through which they entered the Brotherhood and they believed in it,” he said. The Brotherhood’s conservative wing has been seen to consolidate its control in recent politburo elections, with the group’s deputy chief Mohammed Habib and reformist leader Abdel Moneim AbulFutuh losing their seats. Analysts say the new leadership team and a campaign of arrests by police are likely to encourage a shift away from public life. The government has also passed laws that make it harder to contest the 2011 parliament election. “There are two causes for the regression of political work. The first is intense government pressures and the constitutional changes made on participation in elections,” said Diaa Rashwan, an expert on political Islam. “The other factor is that Badie is not involved in public work, he is part of the ideological work.” — AFP

Yemen nabs more militants Continued from Page 1 Abu Aymen Al-Masri, was said to be an “ideologist” of the group. Meanwhile, the defence ministry announced the arrest yesterday of three suspected Al-Qaeda members in the northern area of Alb, near the border with Saudi Arabia. It identified them as Ahmed Al-Razehi, Yasser Al-Zubai and Ahmed Al-Heemi. It said they were wearing military fatigues and carrying arms and explosives. Yesterday’s arrests were the latest in a series of blows since late December, when Yemen’s government launched its latest campaign against Al-Qaeda. On Tuesday, security forces killed Abdullah Mehdar, said to be the group’s kingpin in Shabwa province, east of the capital. Provincial Governor Ali Hassan Al-Ahmadi said dozens of fighters, including Saudis and Egyptians

who had fled Afghanistan, were holed up in Shabwa. Among them, he said, were current AQAP chief Nasser Al-Wahaishi, his Saudi number two Saeed Ali Al-Shehri and radical US-Yemeni cleric Anwar Al-Awlaqi. On Jan 6, officials announced the capture of key leader Mohammed al-Hanq and two other militants believed to be behind threats against Western interests in Sanaa that caused embassies to close for several days. AQAP has claimed responsibility for the failed Dec 25 attack on a US airliner. Washington confirmed the Al-Qaeda franchise in Yemen was behind the attack and that it trained the Nigerian assailant, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Yemen is under US pressure to clamp down on Al-Qaeda, and analysts say that the government in the impoverished state is keen to show the world it can crush Al-

Qaeda militants on its own. Yemen “wants to avoid a foreign military intervention targeting Al-Qaeda,” said Adel Al-Ahmadi, a Yemeni specialist on the group. “Yemen is trying to say that it can accomplish the mission on its own, and just needs logistical assistance... and political support to consolidate its regime in the face of local adversaries.” For Sanaa, the “successive and successful strikes carried out since December 17 prove that logistical and intelligence assistance is more effective” than direct inter vention by foreign forces, said analyst Said Ali Obeid AlJamhi. The council of Yemeni clerics warned on Thursday of jihad, or holy war, if there is any foreign military intervention in the country. An international conference on Yemen will be held in London on Jan 27. — AFP

Obama, Clinton and Bush launch appeal Continued from Page 1 Obama said they had launched the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and directed Americans to visit the website at www.clintonbushhaitifund.org and give money, because Haiti faced a lengthy road back to recovery. “We also know that our longer term effort will not be measured in days or weeks, it will be measured in months and even years. And that is why it is so important to enlist and sustain the support of the American people,” he said. Bush, who spoke next after Obama, said that both he and former first lady Laura Bush had been deeply saddened by the scenes of horror and death from Haiti. “The most effective way for Americans to help the people of Haiti is to contribute money ... I know a lot of people want to send blankets or water. Just send your cash,” he said. “One of the things President Clinton and I will make sure is your money is spent wise-

ly.” The public has already responded to Haiti’s plight. Hollywood star George Clooney will host a telethon on MTV next week, the music network said, while Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million from their foundation to Doctors Without Borders. A texting campaign that First L ady Michelle Obama made a public appeal for had raised almost $6 million by Thursday. “Right now, all we need to do is get food and medicine and water and a secure place for them to be. But when we start the rebuilding effort ... we want to be a place where people can know their money will be well spent,” Clinton said. The website was already up and running, with a link for visitors to make donations from $25 upward. “What we do right now determines how many lives we can save. Together, we can help communities get back on their feet,” the site said. It was Bush’s first visit to the White

on Jan 27 to discuss ways to help Yemen, the minister said. He said that the deteriorating economic situation in Yemen is directly encouraging extremism. “They (Al-Qaeda) are trying to convert Yemen into a centre for the export of international terrorism and we must confront them,” Sheikh Mohammad said. Yemen has been fighting an all-out war on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which admitted responsibility for the botched attack on a US airliner on Christmas Day. L ast week, Al-Qabas quoted an

unnamed security source as saying that Western intelligence has warned GCC states that Al-Qaeda in Yemen has been training to attack shipping including oil tankers. The energy-rich GCC accounts for just under one fifth of world crude oil supplies and is also an important source of natural gas. Together with neighbouring Iran and Iraq, the GCC holds around two-thirds of proven global oil reserves. GCC states alone hold more than 40 percent of the world’s crude reserves. — AFP

Scores of police were on the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince yesterday, rounding up looters in the biggest security operation since the earthquake struck, witnesses said. A Reuters photographer saw police shooting in the air, grabbing and throwing people to the ground, and occasionally kicking detainees in parts of the city. But there was still no sign of widespread looting and riots that many feared. Underlying the desperate nature of the quake aid effort, a US helicopter landed in one open space, near the port, and threw out boxes full of plastic bags and bottles of water before taking off again. Haitians flocked around the boxes to grab the water, many drinking immediately and sharing with family members and friends. Hungry residents fought each other for bags of foods handed out from UN trucks in downtown Port-au-Prince. A senior UN official warned hunger will fuel trouble if aid does not arrive soon, although the law and order situation remains under control “for the time being”. The UN mission responsible for security in Haiti lost at least 36 of its 9,000 members when its headquarters collapsed. Two top officials are missing. Dozens of bloated bodies were still dumped in the yard outside the main hospital, decomposing in the sun. The hospital gardens yesterday were a mass of beds with injured people, with drips hanging from trees and tubes. The weakened Haitian government was in little position to handle the crisis.

The quake destroyed the presidential palace and knocked out communications and power. Preval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive are living and working in the judicial police headquarters. “I do not have a home, I do not have a telephone. This is my palace now,” Preval told Reuters in an interview. The US Navy hospital ship Comfort, a full service medical facility that can handle up to 1,000 patients, left the port of Baltimore yesterday and was due in Haiti next week. Obama said the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Colombia, Russia, Japan, Britain and other countries managed to fly in rescue and logistics personnel and supplies. While some aid was getting in, the White House hoped improved logistics would accelerate the effort. Planes and ships arrived with rescue teams, search dogs, tents, water purification units, food, doctors and telecom teams, but faced a bottleneck at the small airport. Air traffic control, hampered by damage to the airport’s tower, will be handled by the US military with backup from a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The USS Carl Vinson with 19 helicopters arrived off Haiti on Friday, opening a second significant channel to deliver help. Navy helicopters had begun taking water ashore and ferrying injured people to a field hospital near the airport. The US military aimed to have 9,000 to 10,000 troops on the ground in Haiti in ships offshore by tomorrow. —Agencies

Haitians flee capital

Conservative named Brotherhood leader Continued from Page 1

fighters from 36 different nations in the country. “It’s our duty to help Yemen... We want to help Yemen safeguard the security of the (GCC) states and Yemen’s own security also,” the minister told. “There is already security cooperation in the exchange of intelligence information,” Sheikh Mohammad said, adding that “reports say that members of Al-Qaeda (in Yemen) already hail from 36 nationalities.” Kuwait, the current president of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), will join the London conference

House since leaving office almost exactly a year ago to return home to Texas. Since then he has kept a low public profile, but accepted Obama’s request to join a bipartisan effort which echoed the mission he asked Clinton and his own father, former President George H W Bush, to perform after a massive earthquake in 2004 caused a huge tsunami in South Asia and killed 226,000. Obama’s high profile efforts to stay on top of the Haitian crisis may reflect a determination to counter criticism of his own initial reaction to a foiled Christmas Day bomb attack on a Detroit-bound plane, as well as from Bush’s own experience. Bush was slammed for what critics said was a slow and half-hearted response after Hurricane Katrina deluged New Orleans in 2005, stranding thousands of the city’s mainly African American residents and providing the world with a graphic view of festering inner-city US poverty. — Reuters

Continued from Page 1 uprising ousted one president. Hillary Clinton left for Port-au-Prince yesterday to meet with Haitian President Rene Preval at the airport. Her plane was to bring in supplies and return with evacuated Americans. Even four days after the 7.0 magnitude quake, aftershocks were felt every few hours in the capital, terrifying survivors and sending rubble and dust tumbling from buildings. Trucks piled with corpses have been ferrying bodies to hurriedly excavated mass graves outside the city, but thousands of bodies still are believed buried under rubble. US rescuers worked through the night to dig out survivors from one collapsed supermarket where as many as 100 people could have been trapped inside. They were about to give up, when they were told a supermarket cashier had managed to call someone in Miami to say she was still alive inside. “We have already collected around 50,000 dead bodies,” Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime told Reuters. “We anticipate there will be between 100,000 and 200,000 dead in total, although we will never know the exact number.” If the casualty figures prove accurate, the quake that hit Haiti on Tuesday and flattened much of its capital city, would be one of the 10 deadliest ever. Some 40,000 bodies have already been buried in mass graves, the government says.

In Haiti, little separates life and death Continued from Page 1 The ground is also pocked with freshly dug holes. In a reminder that death is nothing new in Haiti, the city’s pauper graves lie nearby, neat rows of white crosses. Yet for all the chaos of Haiti these days, this final resting place for hundreds, maybe thousands, of people is a quiet oasis, beautiful even. It lies between a serene blue bay and a swath of hilly brown mountains. The only indication that the frenetic city of Port-AuPrince is nearby is a pervasive brown

fog - the city’s pollution - that hovers over the bay. As a group of journalists make their way back into the city, the woman’s body is still on the side of the road. No one has collected her. She is clothed only in a dirty, blue plaid one-piece jumpsuit. She has sores on her face and cuts on her feet. Her right hand clutches a water bottle - so maybe she didn’t fall off a truck from the morgue after all. Did she die on the street? Then her left leg seems to move, almost imperceptibly as if the wind had blown it. Could that be right? She sits up. Her

name is Berley Marie Lourde, she is 50, and she hasn’t eaten in several days. Her home in a nearby village was not damaged in the earthquake. But she says she was walking on Friday morning to try to find food when she passed out on the side of the road. “I thought I would die in the street,” she says. The jour nalists load the woman in the back of their SUV and ask people in a nearby village if they can help her. They shake their heads no. They’re hungry too. “We don’t have food, either,” one woman says. “We can’t accept any more people here.” — AP

Spain MP’s image used for Laden pic Continued from Page 1 Llamazares said he couldn’t believe it when he was first told about the similarity, but he quickly realized the seriousness of the situation. The 52-year-old politician said he would not feel safe traveling in the US now, because many airports use biometrics technology that compares the physical characteristics of travelers to passport or other photographs. “I have no similarity, physically or ideologically, to the terrorist bin Laden,” he said. They do share one characteristic - both are 52.

Jose Morales, spokesman for Llamazares’ party, told the AP that no one in Spain had any idea that important security computer images such as the retouched bin Laden photo were built up from photographs of real people. Llamazares, the former leader of his party, was elected to Spain’s parliament in 2000. Llamazares said it was worrying to see elite security services like the FBI resorting to such sloppy techniques, especially in the light of recent security alerts like the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airplane. “It

might provoke mirth, but it demonstrates that what we’re seeing from security services isn’t exactly recommendable,” he said. Bin Laden is believed to be hiding in the lawless Pakistan frontier bordering Afghanistan. His exact whereabouts have been unknown since late 2001, when he and some bodyguards slipped out of the Tora Bora mountains, evading air strikes, US special forces and Afghan militias. The US State Department website shows the photos and bounty on bin Laden and 41 others wanted for terrorism. — AP


SPORTS

Sunday, January 17, 2010

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Sports world comes together for Haiti relief NEW YORK: The NFL and the players’ union announced they were donating $500,000 each to the American Red Cross and Partners In Health on Friday, while the NBA and its union said it will contribute $1 million toward relief efforts in Haiti. Major League Baseball had already pledged $1 million, while the NHL donated $100,000 to the earthquake-ravaged island. Haiti native Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers taped a public service announcement for UNICEF encouraging NBA fans to contribute. He also plans to address the crowd before his home game on Friday, to make a $100,000 donation to

UNICEF and match the donations made by fans. “I was going to go tomorrow morning but you have to get clearance. It’s not like you can go to Santo Domingo and drive,” said Dalembert, who now hopes to visit Haiti next week. “If I could fly myself, I would go over there after every practice. I am just waiting.” The NFL and its network broadcast partners plan to run messages before and during this weekend’s playoff games to promote donations. The announcements will drive viewers to the Red Cross Web site and feature New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma and San Diego defensive end Jacques Cesaire, who both have

Haitian parents. NASCAR’s leading Hendrick Motorsports team announced it was loaning an airplane and two flight crews to Missionary Flights International, which will send support teams in and out of Portau-Prince. The first flight was scheduled to leave Fort Pierce, Florida yesterday. Team owner Rick Hendrick was covering all the flight costs. At least one roundtrip flight was planned per day with no timeline for how long the plane and personnel will be on loan. World TeamTennis is donating clothing items for children through Kids in

Distressed Situations, and the NFL’s Detroit Lions are donating $10,000 to the American Red Cross in the name of three players - Gosder Cherilus, Cliff Avril and Louis Delmas — who are of Haitian descent. “We’re trying to get a fundraiser started right now,” Avril said. “Getting supplies is a concern for the whole country. There’s no clean water. A lot of people don’t have places to stay. Water and medicine is needed.” The Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday’s earthquake. Retired NBA star Alonzo Mourning arrived in the devastated capital of Port-

au-Prince on Friday with Project Medishare, a Miami-based nonprofit agency that has worked since 1995 to provide quality health care in Haiti. He said in a statement that athletes can “make a difference” for those affected by the earthquake and its aftershocks. “The Haitian community has deep roots in Miami, a city which I have personally claimed as my own home for 15 years,” Mourning said. “As a longtime resident, I feel a profound sense of sadness for my many affected friends and neighbors.” Mourning and former teammate Dwyane Wade are working together on a venture called the “Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti.”

The Heat have also announced plans to send money and supplies, asking fans to give in exchange for ticket vouchers to February games. Greg McLaughlin, president of the Tiger Woods Foundation, said his staff was evaluating what it could do to help the relief effort. Rap mogul Russell Simmons said on Twitter that Tiger Woods was providing $3 million to help with the recovery. “Our plan is to be part of the relief effort to help rebuild Haiti by supporting organizations that provide critical resources to young people, which is consistent with our mission and previous efforts,” McLaughlin said in a statement.—AP

India’s Bindra sees bleak future NEW DELHI: India’s Olympic gold medal winning shooter Abhinav Bindra does not believe he can replicate his Beijing achievements because of the indifferent attitude of the national body. Bindra, who won his country’s first individual Olympic gold in the 10m air rifle event in Beijing, has been training abroad ahead of this year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games. However, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) wants him home for regular trials.

“I don’t see any chance of future success if I’m not allowed to prepare in a certain way that has worked for me and is what my professional team and I have planned,” the 27-year-old told the Hindustan Times yesterday. “I am not saying I don’t want to be accountable. I will go to international competitions and my scores there can be monitored. “The present situation has me very upset and does not leave me with much motivation,” Bindra said.

The paper said Bindra had written to the NRAI and the sports ministry asking for permission to be allowed to prepare in a manner similar to his success in Beijing, but is yet to receive a response. A senior NRAI official told the newspaper that the federation would ask the sports ministry to consider the shooter’s international competition scores in lieu of trails. “There will be a meeting in a few days,” NRAI senior vice president Avtar Singh Sethi said.—Reuters

Armstrong’s Tour bid to begin Down Under ADELAIDE: Lance Armstrong used last year’s Tour Down Under as the proving ground for his return to top cycling, convincing himself as much as a doubtful world that, at 37, a comeback was viable. He came in 29th but he showed on six long, hot days in the Adelaide Hills that the legs that carried him to seven Tour de France victories were still strong. Six months later he stood on the dais in Paris after finishing third in the 2009 tour. From Sunday, Armstrong will contest the Tour Down Under for the second time as the head of his own Radioshack team. He doesn’t expect to win in Adelaide but he knows already that he is a better, stronger rider than he was last year and that this week’s race is a launching pad for a credible Tour de France bid. “I can’t lie. I was excited to ride well in the (2009) Tour (de France),” Armstrong told a news conference in Adelaide yesterday. “After the fact people quietly said to me ‘we didn’t think you’d be top 10’ and I thought ‘wow! I thought I was going to win’. “I realized at the end that I did my best and that there were two guys who were better than me. That gave me the inspiration to do it again and try to win.” Armstrong acknowledged the best planned campaigns could come undone — in the wind, in a crash or on the slippery cobblestones of a small French town. Changes to the race format, particularly the alternation to the race’s time trial, had not helped his or his team’s chance but he remained adamant, after proving himself last year, that an eighth title is not beyond him. “I don’t want to say I’m going to win an eighth tour,” Armstrong said. “But I can say I expect to be better than 2009 and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could do it.” Armstrong’s program, and that of Team Radioshack, between the Tour Down Under and the Tour de France would likely include the Tour of California and up to four of cycling’s classics, according to his team director in seven tour victories, Johan Bruyneel. Cancer survivor Armstrong devoted much of his time in his comeback year to his work for and promotion of his cancer charity but said some of that work this year would be timed so as not to coincide with major races. “It will still

be a serious emphasis but it will be slightly less than we saw in 2009,” he said. “There will be time when it’s heavy on the foundation and times when it’s heavy on racing.” Both Armstrong and Bruyneel attempted to quell a perception that Armstrong’s bid for Tour victory in 2009 was partly undermined by internal rivalry with his teammate, the eventual tour winner Alberto Contador. Armstrong’s formation with Bruyneel of the Radioshack team has eliminated that rivalry and surrounded Armstrong with a powerful and versatile group of riders. “I think 2009 was a clear example of a team working as a team, no matter who they had to work for,” Bruyneel said. “The tension within the team was a lot less than everyone thinks. The Tour de France is the hardest race in the world and as long as I can remember the Tour has never been won by someone who wasn’t the strongest.” Armstrong said: “My commitment in riding the tour last season was that I was going to listen to one person and it wasn’t Alberto, it was Johan. “That’s the way I won seven tours, listening to this guy and you rely on the people that you trust. “It will be the same in 2010. We have three strong guys who can win the tour. Sure I’d like to win another one but if someone else is in a better position we have to support him and win.” The Tour Down Under forms an important part of his preparation for the new season. The Australian event suits sprinters such as the German Andre Greipel and the Australians Allan Davis — the defending champion — and Robbie McEwen. The 2010 field, touted as the strongest in the race’s history, also includes Australia’s world road racing champion Cadel Evans “I want to start off 2010 hopefully on the right foot,” Evans said. “For me, it’s been a few years since I raced the Tour Down Under. Coming here to Australia to race in the rainbow jersey (of a world champion) of course is an honor. “Lance is going to come out to prove himself and I’ll be interested to see how the guys are shaping up for the classics and who’s going well early.”—AP

WASHINGTON: Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Colton Orr (28) checks Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz (55) to the ice during the second period of an NHL hockey game.—AP

Predators douse Flames CALGARY: The Nashville Predators had a 1-0 win over Calgary on Friday, preventing the Flames from going clear top of the NHL’s Northwest Division. Patric Hornqvist scored the sole goal with 6:22 left, and Dan Ellis made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season for Nashville. Steve Sullivan set up the goal, gaining control behind the net and feeding Hornqvist at the edge of the crease. Hornqvist knocked the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff for his team-high 19th goal of the season and six in as many games. The Predators have won three straight — sweeping their Western Canada swing — while the Flames have lost three on the trot. In Washington, Alex Ovechkin had a goal and a career-high four assists as Washington thumped

Toronto. Mike Knuble scored twice, and Jose Theodore made 28 saves for the Capitals, who stretched their Southeast Division lead to 17 points. The five points were a season high for Ovechkin. He scored his 29th goal with only 49 seconds elapsed to get the Capitals off to a quick start in their third game in four nights, then assisted on Washington’s next four goals. Both of Knuble’s goals came in the second period, boosting the Capitals’ lead to 4-0. He has five goals in his past five games. Eric Fehr, Tomas Fleischmann and Tom Poti also scored for Washington. Tomas Kaberle had a power-play goal for the Maple Leafs, who have lost five of six overall and five straight on the road.—AP

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday. Washington 6, Toronto 1; Nashville 1, Calgary 0. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF New Jersey 32 12 1 130 Pittsburgh 30 18 1 155 NY Rangers 22 18 7 120 Philadelphia 23 20 3 140 NY Islanders 20 19 8 124 Northeast Division Buffalo 29 11 5 125 Boston 23 16 7 119 Ottawa 23 21 4 129 Montreal 23 21 4 124 Toronto 16 24 9 130 Southeast Division Washington 29 12 6 177 Atlanta 20 19 7 144 Tampa Bay 18 18 10 120 Florida 19 20 8 135 Carolina 14 25 7 115

GA PTS 98 65 133 61 125 51 132 49 144 48 103 112 147 129 170

63 53 50 50 41

133 152 139 147 157

64 47 46 46 35

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 32 11 4 155 102 68 Nashville 29 16 3 137 132 61 Detroit 24 16 6 118 117 54 St. Louis 20 19 7 120 131 47 Columbus 18 22 9 125 161 45 Northw est Division Colorado 26 15 6 138 134 58 Calgary 26 16 6 126 115 58 Vancouver 27 18 2 149 117 56 Minnesota 24 21 3 131 140 51 Edmonton 16 25 5 126 155 37 Pacific Division San Jose 30 10 8 153 121 68 Phoenix 27 16 5 125 118 59 Los Angeles 26 18 3 139 130 55 Dallas 19 17 11 134 152 49 Anaheim 21 20 7 133 150 49 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

Allenby defies foot pain to trail by one in Hawaii

ADELAIDE: Lance Armstrong of the US gets surrounded by local cyclists and fans in Adelaide before doing a combined training and charity ride ahead of the Tour Down Under cycling event.—AP

HONOLULU: Australia’s Robert Allenby wielded a red-hot putter and defied a painful foot for the second day in a row to sit just one shot off the lead after Friday’s second round at the Sony Open. The four-times PGA Tour winner, who twisted his right ankle on Monday while walking with his wife, fired a three-under-par 67 at Waialae Country Club for an eight-under total of 132. That left Allenby tied for second with Americans Chad Campbell (64) and defending champion Zach Johnson (67), a stroke behind pacesetting Ryan Palmer of the US who birdied three of the last four holes for a 66. World number three Steve Stricker carded a 67 to share fifth place with fellow Americans John Merrick (68) and Jeff Quinney (67) while Masters champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina (68) was among a group of four bunched at six under. Despite finding only five fairways off the tee, Allenby scrambled superbly on another breezy day of sunshine at Waialae, saving par three times from bunkers and needing only 26 putts to stay in touch with the lead. “I struggled off the tee,” said the 38-year-old, who is bidding for his first victory on the U.S. circuit since the 2001 Pennsylvania Classic. “That makes it pretty hard to hit the greens when you are coming

out of this rough, it’s a bit of a guessing game. “I was happy with the way I managed myself around the course. I relied on my short game and so far that has been really good. I’ve been putting really well.” Long regarded as one of the best ball-strikers in the game, Allenby was the hottest player coming into this year, having won the Australian PGA championship and the Sun City Challenge in South Africa in successive weeks last month. “Coming into this tournament, I was hitting the ball as good as I could possibly hit it,” he said. “I only had two weeks off over Christmas and the last two weeks I’ve been hitting balls and putting and chipping.” His bruised right ankle is still a problem for him, though. “It’s still the same. It’s still there and it’s still annoying,” he said. “It just stops me from making normal swings so a lot of my swings are abbreviated. “But I’m managing. I’m not expecting too much, just managing my way around the golf course.” Twice winner Ernie Els carded a 70 to lie eight strokes off the pace while 2005 champion Vijay Singh battled to a 72 to make the cut right on the number at one-over 141. Among those failing to advance were US Open champion Lucas Glover, Britain’s Luke Donald and double major winner John Daly of the US.—Reuters

HONOLULU: Robert Allenby, of Australia, putts on the 13th green during the second round of the Sony Open golf tournament.—AP


SPORTS

16

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blazers knock off Magic as Hawks get past Suns PORTLAND: The Portland Trail Blazers crept within a game of the NBA Northwest Division lead and knocked Orlando off the top of the Southeast with a 102-87 win over the Magic on Friday. Portland won despite missing Brandon Roy with a sore right hamstring, partly thanks to Orlando star Dwight Howard having an off night, making just four of seven attempts from the field. Martell Webster had 24 points and nine rebounds, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points and 14 rebounds for Portland, which edged within a game of Denver. Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson each had 15 points to lead the Magic, who fell a half game behind Atlanta in the Southeast. Hawks 102, Suns 101 In Atlanta, Jamal Crawford hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap an Atlanta comeback in the final seconds, giving the Hawks a win over Phoenix that moved them atop the Southeast. The home team trailed 100-96 with 10 seconds left, but squeezed two more possessions out of the clock, and the Suns missed a couple of chances to put the Hawks away. Crawford was first to a rebound from a free throw, and his putback made it 100-99. After Amare Stoudemire sank one free throw for Phoenix, then a timeout, Mike Bibby inbounded the ball to Crawford, who put up a 28-foot winner.

CHICAGO: Bulls’ Joakim Noah (left) battles for a rebound with Washington Wizards’ Brendan Haywood during the second overtime of an NBA basketball game. —AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Friday. Charlotte 92, San Antonio 76; Philadelphia 98, Sacramento 86; Atlanta 102, Phoenix 101; Chicago 121, Washington 119 (OT); Detroit 110, New Orleans 104 (OT); Memphis 135, Minnesota 110; Indiana 121, New Jersey 105; Toronto 112, NY Knicks 104; Dallas 99, Oklahoma City 98; Miami 115, Houston 106; Milwaukee 113, Golden State 104; La Lakers 126, La Clippers 86; Portland 102, Orlando 87. Eastern Conference Western Conference Atlantic Division Northwest Division W L PCT GB Denver 25 14 .641 Boston 27 11 .711 Portland 25 16 .610 1 Toronto 20 20 .500 8 Utah 22 17 .564 3 NY Knicks 16 23 .410 11.5 Oklahoma City 21 18 .538 4 Philadelphia 13 26 .333 14.5 Minnesota 8 33 .195 18 New Jersey 3 36 .077 24.5 Pacific Division Central Division LA Lakers 31 9 .775 Cleveland 30 11 .732 Phoenix 24 16 .600 7 Chicago 18 20 .474 10.5 LA Clippers 17 21 .447 13 Milwaukee 16 21 .432 12 Sacramento 15 23 .395 15 Indiana 14 25 .359 15 Golden State 11 27 .289 19 Detroit 13 25 .342 15.5 Southwest Division Southeast Division Dallas 26 13 .667 Atlanta 26 13 .667 San Antonio 24 14 .632 1.5 Orlando 26 14 .650.5 Houston 22 18 .550 4.5 Miami 20 18 .526 5.5 New Orleans 20 18 .526 5.5 Charlotte 18 19 .486 7 Washington 12 26 .316 13.5 Memphis 20 18 .526 5.5

Peterson faces boyhood favorites EDEN PRAIRIE: As a kid growing up in Palestine, Texas, Adrian Peterson idolized the Dallas Cowboys. A poster of cornerback Deion Sanders hung on the wall in his bedroom. He had trading cards of running back Emmitt Smith. He rejoiced while watching receiver Michael Irvin restore the swagger and success to the team that won three Super Bowls in the 1990s. Come Sunday, that famed Cowboys star will look so much different to the Minnesota Vikings running back. It once represented a target to shoot for, the symbol of all of his boyhood dreams. Now that star is just the next barrier standing in his way in pursuit of his first career playoff victory and a berth in the NFC Championship game. The Vikings host the Cowboys today in an NFC divisional playoff game that, remarkable as it may sound, even has Peterson’s family divided. “I was a huge Cowboys fan growing up, the days of Michael Irvin, Prime Time, Emmitt,” Peterson said. “It’s going to feel good to play those guys. I’ve got a lot of family that is kind of (undecided) which side they’re pulling for.” Most of Peterson’s family still lives in Texas and their loyalties are being tested this week. “Even family mem-

bers,” Peterson said with a sheepish grin. “We have some die-hard Cowboys fans.” He has one message for those relatives on the fence: Ask a Cowboys player for tickets. “(I’ve said that) to a couple of them,” Peterson said with a chuckle. All joking aside, if the Vikings are going to prevail over the surging Cowboys, Peterson likely will play a pivotal role. He hasn’t topped 100 yards rushing in a game in two months, though he has been more active in the passing game since Brett Favre took over the offense. Peterson set a team record and led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns and finished fifth in the NFL with 1,383 yards. He averaged a career-low 4.4 yards per carry and committed six fumbles, but the Cowboys have made him a focus of their defensive game plan. “You need to commit to the running game with that guy,” Dallas coach Wade Phillips said. “He’s such a tremendous talent. He’s done everything already and still doing more. I wish we wouldn’t have let him get out of Texas, but we did.” With the Vikings offensive line struggling to open holes and Favre excelling in the passing game, Peterson has topped 100 yards rushing only three times this season.

Two of those came against lowly Cleveland and Detroit. He hasn’t complained once. The Vikings reached 12 wins for just the second time since 1975 and earned a much-needed bye last week. “If it takes us running the ball 25 times to get a W, if it takes us throwing the ball 50 times to get a W, it’s whatever it takes to win,” Peterson said. And if that W comes today against those Cowboys, well, it would just make it that much sweeter for Peterson and three other Texans on Minnesota’s roster — snapper Cullen Loeffler, defensive lineman Brian Robison and cornerback Cedric Griffin. “It’s a big game for anybody from Texas,” said Loeffler, who grew up a Houston Oilers fan in Ingram but still understands the significance. “The Cowboys are SO big throughout the state and throughout America. It’s a special game for all Texans.” Even after watching the Cowboys steamroll Philadelphia twice in a row to get to this point, Peterson said this was the matchup he was hoping for all along. And he doesn’t plan to take it easy on the team he loved as a boy. “I was cheering for them. I was a Cowboys fan,” Peterson said. “But when they come up here, it’s strictly business.”—AP

Lakers 126, Clippers 86 In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 30 points as the Lakers re-established its supremacy over their city rival Clippers with an emphatic victory. Pau Gasol returned from a six-game injury absence with 20 points and six rebounds as the Lakers recorded their biggest win over the Clippers moved to L.A. in 1984. Eric Gordon and Craig Smith scored 17 points apiece for the Clippers. Mavericks 99, Thunder 98 In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points to lead Dallas past Oklahoma City. Jason Terry added 21 for the Mavericks, who have beaten the Thunder franchise nine straight times in Dallas dating to 2004. Nowitzki and Terry scored 16 of the final 18 points for the Mavericks. Kevin Durant scored 30 points on 6 of 18 shooting and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds for the Thunder. Heat 115, Rockets 106 In Houston, Dwyane Wade scored 37 points, his second consecutive big game since spraining his wrist, as Miami beat Houston. Rafer Alston had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting against his former team as the Heat snapped Houston’s eight-game home winning streak. Wade hit 15 of 24 shots and dished out eight assists. Bobcats 92, Spurs 76 In Charlotte, North Carolina, Boris Diaw had 26 points and 11 rebounds as Charlotte notched a franchise-record sixth straight home win. Gerald Wallace added 21 points and some acrobatic blocks as the Bobcats took control with a dominant defensive stand that bridged the third and fourth quarters. The Spurs went more than 9 minutes without a field goal, and the Bobcats’ 19-2 run put them ahead 70-57 and secured their sixth win in seven games overall. San Antonio lost its first game in four. Raptors 112, Knicks 104 In New York, Andrea Bargnani had 24 points and 12 rebounds, helping Toronto get off to a sizzling start in a victory over New York. Jose Calderon matched a season high with 21 points for the Raptors. Bargnani hurt the Knicks inside and out, making five 3-pointers and shooting 9 of 13 from the field. Toronto shot 53 percent and opened a 28-point lead. Pistons 110, Hornets 104 In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 32 points to lead Detroit over New Orleans in overtime. Rodney Stuckey scored eight of his 13 points in overtime. Chris Paul had 24 points and 14 assists for the Hornets before fouling out. Bulls 121, Wizards 119 In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored a career-high 37 points and hit the go-ahead basket with 5.4 seconds left in the second overtime as Chicago overcame an inspired Washington. Just hours after teammate and suspended star Gilbert Arenas pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge, the Wizards put in everything they had but fell just short. 76ers 98, Kings 86 In Philadelphia, Sam Dalembert made a $100,00 donation to help relief efforts in his native Haiti, then had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lift Philadelphia over Sacramento. Thaddeus Young scored 20 points for the Sixers, who hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter that turned a tight game into a comfortable victory in front of one of their largest crowds of the season. Grizzlies 135, T’wolves 110 In Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis made it seven straight home wins by routing Minnesota. Rudy Gay scored 21 points, while Zach Randolph and OJ Mayo added 20 apiece for the Grizzlies. Bucks 113, Warriors 104 In Oakland, California, Brandon Jennings scored 25 points as Milwaukee held on to beat Golden State. Andrew Bogut added 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Bucks. The Warriors, who entered the game with just eight players in uniform, lost Anthony Morrow to a knee injury and had three others foul out, leaving them with only four players. Under NBA rules, Stephen Curry — the last Golden State player to foul out — was allowed to return for the final 4 seconds.

KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) soccer team recently defeated CBK 6-0 in the first of the Kuwait Banks Club (KBC) Soccer Championship for this season played at the Information Ministry ground.

Pacers 121, Nets 105 In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Indiana piled on 72 points in the first half to notch a third straight victory, downing woeful New Jersey. Danny Granger scored 22 of his 28 points in the first-half blitz, while Troy Murphy added 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers, who made a strong start after having been forced claw back 20-plus point deficits to win their previous two. —AP

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s Dale Steyn celebrates getting the wicket of England’s Jonathan Trott (unseen) in England’s second innings on day three of their fourth Test cricket match. —AP

England in trouble after S Africa strike three times JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s fast bowlers struck three times in England’s second innings as the home team pushed for a series-levelling victory on the third day of the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium yesterday. England were reeling at 48 for three when bad light stopped play, still 195 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat. Morne Morkel had Alastair Cook caught at first slip by Graeme Smith in the fourth over and Dale Steyn produced a superb delivery which swung away late and caused Jonathan Trott to edge a catch to AB de Villiers at third slip. The umpires took the players off for bad light with the total on 22 for two but they were soon back for another half hour of play during which new cap Wayne Parnell trapped England captain Andrew Strauss leg before wicket shortly before the day’s third and final stoppage. South Africa earlier declared after piling up 423 for seven in their first innings. De Villiers and Mark Boucher shared an attacking century partnership with De Villiers riding his luck to make 58 before a thunderstorm hit the ground 50 minutes after lunch. But the storm passed and South Africa were able to take giant strides towards squaring a series they trail 1-0. Boucher hit a sparkling 95 off 118 balls, falling short of his sixth Test century when he top-edged a sweep against off-spinner Graeme Swann and was caught at deep backward square leg. It was the second time in the innings that Swann had taken a wicket with the first ball of a spell and the 16th time in as many Test matches that he had struck in the first over of a spell. But Swann was out of luck when he twice won appeals against De Villiers from umpire Tony Hill only for the decisions to be overturned on review. To add to England’s miseries with the review system, they wasted a review when Swann sought a leg before wicket decision against Boucher, then saw De

Villiers get away with what seemed a clear inside edge to wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Ryan Sidebottom. Because England had used up both their reviews including the controversial review of the decision that saw Graeme Smith escape dismissal on Friday - they could not seek to get Steve Davis’ not out decision reversed. England used up one of their second innings batting reviews when Strauss tried unsuccessfully to challenge Hill’s lbw decision shortly before play ended for the day. De Villiers and Boucher put on 120 for the sixth wicket, scoring at four runs an over, after three wickets fell early in the day. While De Villiers was not entirely convincing, Boucher was in excellent form as he made his third half-century of the series. Only two runs had been added when overnight batsmen Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis were dismissed in successive overs, to be followed by JP Duminy. Amla edged the tenth ball of the day from Stuart Broad for Prior to take a diving catch. Kallis followed in the next over when a ball from Ryan Sidebottom lifted more sharply than expected and an attempted pull looped to gully where James Anderson dived to hold a good catch. Duminy’s troubles against Swann continued when he beaten by the flight and sharp spin to edge the offspinner’s first ball of the day to slip. It was the third time in the series he had been out to Swann in similar circumstances, twice caught at slip and once by the wicketkeeper. At that stage South Africa were only 55 runs ahead and with a new ball due within seven overs England appeared to have clawed their way back into the match. But De Villiers and Boucher restored South Africa’s dominance before De Villiers mistimed a pull against Broad and was caught at midwicket. —AFP

Scoreboard JOHANNESBURG: Scores at close of play on the third day of the fourth Test between South Africa and England at the Wanderers Stadium yesterday:

England, first innings, 180 South Africa, first innings (overnight 215-2) G. Smith c Strauss b Sidebottom 105 A. Prince c Swann b Broad 19 H. Amla c Prior b Broad 75 J. Kallis c Anderson b Sidebottom 7 A. de Villiers c Collingwood b Broad 58 J. Duminy c Collingwood b Swann 7 M. Boucher c Trott b Swann 95 R. McLaren not out 33 D. Steyn not out 1 Extras (b8, lb9, nb1, w5) 23 Total (7 wkts dec, 119 overs, 531 mins) 423 Fall of wickets: 1-36 (Prince), 2-201 (Smith), 3-217 (Amla), 4-217 (Kallis), 5-235 (Duminy), 6-355 (De Villiers), 7-419 (Boucher) Did not bat: M. Morkel, W. Parnell Bowling: Anderson 30-4-111-0 (nb1), Sidebottom 31-6-98-2, Broad 29-4-83-3 (w1), Swann 23-0-93-2, Collingwood 6-1-21-0

England, second innings A. Strauss lbw b Parnell 22 A. Cook c Smith b Morkel 1 J. Trott c De Villiers b Steyn 8 K. Pietersen not out 9 P. Collingwood not out 0 Extras (lb4, nb3, w1) 8 Total (3 wkts, 13.2 overs) 48 Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Cook), 2-21 (Trott), 3-48 (Strauss) To bat: I. Bell, M. Prior, S. Broad, G. Swann, R. Sidebottom, J. Anderson Bowling: Steyn 5.2-0-18-1, Morkel 6-2-21-1 (nb3, w1), Parnell 2-0-5-1 Match position: England trail by 195 runs with seven wickets remaining in the second innings.

India not expecting to be troubled by B’desh CHITTAGONG: Bangladesh can produce upsets in one-day cricket but they are an ordinary Test side that are unlikely to trouble India, said the tourists’ vice captain Virender Sehwag. India, the world’s top ranked Test side, face Bangladesh in a two-test series, the first of which starts in Chittagong today. Sehwag could not see the hosts springing a surprise victory over India. “I don’t think so. In one-day (cricket) they can surprise anybody but not in test matches. It’s an ordinary side,” Sehwag said at a news conference ahead of first Test. “It’s difficult for Bangladesh to take 20 Indian wickets. The kind of batting line-up we have, I don’t think so. Even Sri Lanka can’t do that. So it’s very, very difficult for Bangladesh.” Bangladesh have won only three of their 61 tests, drawing six matches and losing 52 since they gained test status in June 2000. They have lost all but one of their previous test matches against India. The only time India failed to win

was a rain-forced draw in Chittagong in May 2007. The tourists climbed to the top of the test rankings for the first time in December after winning a threetest series against Sri Lanka 2-0. Sehwag said the team were focused on the test match, not their world ranking. “We are not thinking that we are number one, number two or number three,” he added. “We have to play well, we have to give our individual performances and our job is to play well.” Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan rejected Sehwag’s description of his side as “ordinary” and said no team were unbeatable. “They are also human beings. They are not the batsmen that can never be out, or bowlers against whom none can bat,” he added. “I have taken five wickets against South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Tomorrow I can take seven wickets or maybe no wicket.” Shakib acknowledged India were in good form but believed they were not the best team in the world. “It’s true that they are playing very good cricket. They have a very good batting line-up,” he said. —Reuters

First Test begins today


Sunday, January 17, 2010

SPORTS

17

Hunger for success still there, says Federer MELBOURNE: A year after Rafa Nadal reduced Roger Federer to bitter tears by dashing his hopes of a record-equalling 14th grand slam at the Rod Laver Arena, life has come full circle for the Swiss maestro. Subsequent wins at Roland Garros and Wimbledon enabled Federer to wrest back the world number one ranking from archrival Nadal and the hunger for success is as strong as ever ahead of next week’s Australian Open. After beating Federer in the unforgettable 2008 Wimbledon final, Nadal’s Australian Open victory in another epic five-set battle felt like the end of an era and, perhaps, the

starting point of a long, slow decline for one of the game’s great champions. Instead Federer rallied to overtake Pete Sampras’s record of 14 grand slam victories while handling the demands of marriage to Mirka and fatherhood to twin girls. “I put in a lot of work last year to try to get back to number one,” Federer told reporters yesterday. “I was able to reach number one in the world and obviously back-to-back French and Wimbledon were an amazing accomplishment for me. “And on top of that, on the personal note, that I was able to handle everything at the same time was quite fascinating for me actu-

ally as well.” He added: “It’s exciting travelling the world as a family... It’s going really well and it’s been inspiring. “They’re all doing well and I’m also much more relaxed as well. Preparations have been good you know, the way I wanted, to get the practice session in and experiencing quality time with them so it’s been a fun week.” Despite the business-as-usual attitude tinged with domestic bliss, commentators have queued up to question the Swiss’s motivation. “There’s no tougher opponent than kids...To try to be the best player in the world as well as to be a great father and husband it

gets quite complicated,” seven-times grand slam champion and father of six John McEnroe told reporters at Melbourne Park this week. “Roger loves the game so much so maybe it will be different. When I had kids for the first time, I thought I could handle both things. “My first child was (at) 27 and I don’t remember a whole lot of major wins from 27 on,” added McEnroe, who joked that Federer had got the grand slam record out of the way before welcoming Charlene Riva and Myla Rose into the world. The 28-year-old Swiss disagrees. “With the hunger, of course there’s always going to

be speculation,” he said. “Once you have a family, (people) look at the history and see, ‘oh, some players didn’t win when they had family and so forth’. “It’s not easy to create a family when you’re travelling so much, but the hunger is still there. I’m working as hard as I have ever been. I’m not just baby-sitting, you know. I also like to go out in the morning and put in the big hours.” With the outright record pressure off after Wimbledon, Federer won one out of six ATP titles to close out the year, losing the US Open narrowly to Argentine Juan Martin del Potro. The three-times champion’s

Australian Open leadup has not been ideal, with losses to Swede Robin Soderling and Russian Nikolay Davydenko at season-opening tournaments in the Middle East. Far from shrugging off the losses, Federer’s recent record has irked him, despite his air of tranquillity. “I maybe wasn’t as successful as I wanted to be...in the last few tournaments,” he said. The feeling that he still has something to prove bodes ill for his first-round opponent Igor Andreev of Russia. “I feel my game’s really where it’s supposed to be, so I can only put in the best effort I can and hope that the results will follow,” Federer said. — Reuters

Baghdatis lifts Sydney crown MELBOURNE: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France (left) and Fernando Verdasco of Spain hold their winning trophies after the final of the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament. — AP

Verdasco gets a boost before Australian Open MELBOURNE: Spainís Fernando Verdasco issued a warning to rivals ahead of the Australian Open with an emphatic 7-5 6-3 win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to clinch the Kooyong Classic yesterday. World number nine Verdasco, who pushed defending champion Nadal to five sets in an epic semi-final at Melbourne Park last year, broke the 10th-ranked Frenchman late in the first, then twice early in the second to seal the win in blustery conditions at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. ìI think that isóand I hopeóthat is going to help me a lot to be ready for the next two weeks,î Verdasco told reporters. ìIt was really windy and really tough to play so ... if I play as good as I play with this

wind I think I can really play so good if itís no windy.î Verdasco played solidly in all three matches at the eight-man invitational, a strong return to form after he was bundled out of the ATP Tour Finals in London in November with three consecutive defeats. The Spaniard beat world number eight Roger Soderling of Sweden in straight sets prior to demolishing third-ranked Serb Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-2 on Thursday at Kooyong, a tournament seen as a form guide for the Australian Open. Verdasco, a three-times winner on the ATP tour, meets Australian wild card Carsten Ball in the first round at Melbourne Park, which begins tomorrow.

ìItís tough draw, is very tough, starting with one guy that is going to have whole lot of people supporting him, you know, all the country,î said the Spaniard, who could potentially run into in-form Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the fourth round. Tsonga, who upset a string of more-fancied opponents to reach the final at Melbourne Park in 2008, has been paired with Ukraineís Sergiy Stakhovsky. Stakhovsky upset 25th-ranked American Sam Querrey in an exhibition match on Friday. Earlier yesterday, Serbiaís Novak Djokovic was upset by Australian teenager Bernard Tomic 6-4 3-6 7-5 in another exhibition match. — Reuters

Isner wins Auckland title AUCKLAND: Big serving American John Isner saved one championship point and overcame some loose shotmaking to beat France’s Arnaud Clement 6-3 5-7 7-6 and win his first ATP Tour title at the Auckland Open yesterday. The 24-year-old Isner staved off match point in the 12th game of the final set before smashing two aces past the French veteran to send the match into a tiebreak. He then raced away with the shootout, jumping out to a 3-1 lead, which he built on to hold match point at 6-2 and then sealed the title when he blasted a forehand service winner down the line. “This is awesome, I’m really glad I came here because it is one of my favorite tournaments outside of the States,” Isner told reporters. “I really enjoyed playing here last year and I thought I could be a contender here this year. “I was one point away from elimination but I played a pretty much flawless tiebreak because I had told myself I had nothing to lose and (would) swing free and I got up.” Isner, who pocketed $64,250 for winning the title, said he would donate $5,000 to the Red Cross to help with the aid effort in earthquake ravaged Haiti and was likely to add to that from any winnings from next week’s Australian Open. He had romped through the first set in 33 minutes before the crafty 32-year-old Frenchman began to frustrate his younger opponent with his pinpoint accuracy. Clement won the second set when he broke the 2.06 metre tall American in the 12th game, but lost much of that momentum when Isner broke in the first game of the deciding set. Bidding for his fifth career singles title, Clement broke back immediately and seemed to be getting the better of a tiring Isner, who was relying on his booming serve, which produced 22 aces, to keep pace with the Frenchman. Isner’s most effective weapon was put to good use in the 12th game when Clement held championship point at 30-40. The American produced two aces that sent it into the tiebreak. “I was close to winning the match and I am very disappointed but all week I did my best and (today) I lost against a very good player and yes it’s tough, but it’s okay,” Clement said. “That’s sport.” Earlier, the last-minute pairing of New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and his Romanian partner Horia Tecau clinched the doubles title with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Brazilian duo Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares. —Reuters

SYDNEY: Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus overcame the distraction of a lengthy rain interruption to beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6 in the final of the Sydney International yesterday. Baghdatis, who burst on to the world stage when he made the Australian Open final in 2006, regained his composure after a lapse in concentration to claim his fourth ATP title in the final lead-up event before the first grand slam of 2010. The 24-year-old made a flying start at the Sydney Olympic tennis centre, breaking Gasquet’s opening service game then taking the first set, but lost his way after a 75-minute delay early in the second set. Gasquet quickly established a 5-2 lead and served for the set but Baghdatis broke back and eventually sealed victory in the tiebreak. “I felt pretty good on court,” Baghdatis said. “(I’ve) just won a tournament, confidence is up, feeling pretty fit... I think everything is positive. “I have some things to work on still... my serve, first serve percentage. I think that’s all. It’s the only thing that worries me a bit.” Baghdatis has been plagued with injuries over the past two seasons and was reduced to playing on the Challenger circuit last year. He won three Challenger titles and an ATP event in Stockholm and has been in great form this week, advancing to the final after tough three-set wins over Lleyton Hewitt and Mardy Fish. He is drawn to play Italian Paolo Lorenzi in his opening match at the Australian Open, which begins tomorrow. “Next week... if I stay focussed and find the way to win the first two, three matches, then I could be very dangerous

SYDNEY: Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus kisses the winner’s trophy after defeating Richard Gasquet of France 6-4,7-6 in their men’s singles final match at the Sydney International tennis tournament. — AP and confident,” Baghdatis said. Gasquet, who faces Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the first round at Melbourne Park, missed two grand slams last year after he became involved in a doping case.

The 23-year-old was provisionally suspended in May after testing positive for cocaine but was later cleared of any wrongdoing after explaining that he became contaminated from kissing a woman in a nightclub. “I’m

disappointed, because it’s always difficult to lose a final,” he said. “I served a bad game (in the second set), and I had a big trouble in the tiebreak. I lost a lot of free points, so that made the difference.”— Reuters

Janka clinches downhill race

ARGENTINA: Volkswagen’s driver Carlos Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz, both of Spain, compete in the Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally 2010. — AP

Sainz wins Dakar Rally BUENOS AIRES: Spain’s two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally here yesterday. Volkswagen team-mate and closest rival Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar won the final stage, a 335km special from Santa Rosa. Sainz, world rally champion in 1990 and 1992, had led the race since the fifth stage and clinched two stages on the 32nd running of the gruelling event. He finished 2min 12sec ahead of AlAttiyah with whom he angrily clashed on Friday’s penultimate stage when he

accused the Qatari of unsporting behaviour when he passed the Spaniard. Fellow Volkswagen driver Mark Miller, of the US, was 32min 51sec behind Sainz to take third place. It was Volkswagen’s third win in the event following triumphs in 1980 and 2009. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, a three-time champion and six-time winner in the motorcycle section, was fourth in his BMW, 2hr 17min 21sec behind Sainz, while BMW teammate Guerlain Chicherit was fifth. — AFP

WENGEN: Taciturn Swiss tyro Carlo Janka surged back to the top of the World Cup overall standings yesterday when he powered to a comprehensive win in the men’s downhill race here. Janka negotiated the gruelling 4,480-metre-long course in 2min 32.23sec for his fourth victory of the season and his sixth career success. The 23-year-old, who was second in the super-combined event on Friday behind American Bode Miller, finished a massive 0.66sec ahead of Canadian Manuel OsborneParadis, with Marco Buechel of Liechstenstein in third at 0.82sec. Janka responded to his victory in typically reserved style. Asked by journalists if he might ever celebrate more demonstratively, the Olympic gold medal hope replied: “Maybe in Vancouver!” Responding to a question on the anxiety levels in his family, he said: “My father is probably calm, my mother - like all mothers - must be a bit more nervous, watching one of her children take such risks.” Buechel was similarly impressed by Janka’s cool exterior. “He wins the Lauberhorn and he doesn’t roll around in the finish zone!” said the 38-year-old veteran. “That’s the most incredible thing with him. His emotional level is always the same, which is why he’s a great skiier.” Italian Werner Heel was in fourth, Swiss veteran Didier Cuche in joint-fifth with Slovenian Andrej Jerman, while another of the strong Swiss team in the shape of Didier Defago finished seventh. Miller, who had led the field at the intermediary times, crashed out after failing to get enough bite around one of the gruelling course’s lower gates. Janka, who notched up a memorable triple victory at Beaver Creek in early December, will now set his sights on the Kitzbuehel downhill next Saturday. The World Cup continues here today with a two-leg slalom race. — AFP

MARIBOR: Austria’s Kathrin Zettel (center) reacts on the podium after placing first, with second placed Maria Riesch of Germany (left) and third placed Anja Paerson of Sweden (right) in the alpine ski Women’s World Cup giant slalom. — AP

Zettel snaps win drought MARIBOR: Austrian Kathrin Zettel won the women’s World Cup giant slalom here yesterday to record her first victory of the season after seven previous podium placings. Zettel clocked a combined total of 2min 36.22sec to finish 0.23sec ahead of Germany’s Maria Riesch, with Swede Anja Paerson third at 0.48sec. “I’m really pleased because I managed to consolidate my lead from the first run and win,” said Zettel. “I summoned all my technical abilities. The snow wasn’t frozen, but it was compact and those are the conditions I like because you can ski quickly.” Riesch was delighted

to end her long wait for a top-three finish in the discipline. “I’ve finally got my first podium in the giant slalom,” she said. “I’m really happy about it because I’ve been waiting for it for such a long time.” Paerson said: “I was really pleased with my first run. It’s always nice to come back here. The slope suits me and the snow is good.” American World Cup overall leader Lindsey Vonn crashed out after her weight transference on one sharp turn threw her off balance. — AFP


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Magnificent 7 for Chelsea

United see off Burnley

Chelsea 7

Sunderland 2

Man United 3

Burnley 0 MANCHESTER: Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and Mame Biram Diouf scored second-half goals to earn Manchester United a 3-0 win over Burnley that was not quite as straightforward as the scoreline suggests. The Clarets, who had new manager Brian Laws in charge for the first time, proved tricky opponents despite having picked up just one point away from home all season. Berbatov finally broke down their resistance just after the hour and Rooney made the game safe with his 16th goal of the season. New signing Diouf added a third, his first for the club, in added time but it was far from a comfortable afternoon for the champions. Steven Fletcher passed up a golden chance for the Clarets to take a shock lead in the seventh minute. The visitors broke From Nani’s corner, ex-United man Chris Eagles released David Nugent and his pass set Fletcher clean through on goal only for the Scotland international to drill wide. Nani, back after a month out with ankle trouble, continued his poor form in front of goal with an air shot at Luis Valencia’s cross before Berbatov shot way off target. Up against the ageing Gary Neville, Eagles was causing all sorts of problems by cutting in from the left and his lofted pass just had too much on it for Nugent, with the on-loan Portsmouth striker

LONDON: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (left) fights for the ball against Burnley’s Michael Duff during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium.—AP poised to strike. But finally there was some quality from Nani as the Portugese slipped inside and hit a bobbling drive that was held by Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen. Neville squeezed a pass through to Nani and the winger lifted a cross back in but Rooney’s header did not have the power to trouble Jensen. United were dominating possession and after stroking it around, Neville lofted the ball in but Rooney headed straight at Jensen. Valencia always looked United’s best option and when he was picked out once again by Rooney, he drilled in a low cross that was stabbed at goal by Berbatov only to be deflected wide. And Valencia showed United’s mounting frustration when he clattered into Fletcher. Stephen Jordan was continuing to give Valencia far too much space and the Ecuador winger’s cross flew over the area, allowing Nani to cross back in for Berbatov, but the Bulgarian failed to hit the target. Another Valencia cross was glanced wide by Paul Scholes as he searched for his 100th Premier League goal. Jensen was still leading a charmed life and after United finally worked some room on the edge of the area, Rooney clipped a shot wide of goal, while another

quick break down the right saw Valencia cross in and Nani’s overhead kick deflected wide. After the restart, Nani hit a hopeful long-range drive straight at Jensen and after Patrice Evra wriggled out of two challenges, Rooney sliced his shot well over the bar. But Nani even surpassed that that with a horrible shank that almost went out for a Burnley throw. Berbatov went much closer when he received a return pass from Valencia and juggled the ball past David Edgar, stabbing a shot off the outside of the post. Nugent should have given the visitors a shock lead when he was played through by Eagles, but the one-time England striker sliced wide despite out-pacing Neville. United finally made the breakthrough midway through the second period when Rooney slipped a pass through for Berbatov and the Bulgarian lifted a calm shot past Jensen. Rooney doubled the lead when Berbatov’s shot was blocked by Jensen and the England forward held off Michael Duff’s challenge to roll into the corner. Steve Thompson could have grabbed a consolation for Burnley in the closing stages but his header came back off the post before Diouf headed in United’s third from Valencia’s huge clearance.—AFP

LONDON: Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea side laid down an impressive marker in the Premier League title race with an emphatic 7-2 victory over Sunderland at Stamford Bridge yesterday. Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard led the way with two goals each with Florent Malouda, Ashley Cole and Michael Ballack completing the rout. Bolo Zenden and Darren Bent claimed Sunderland’s consolations but Steve Bruce’s men will count themselves lucky to have left west London with only a fivegoal deficit after a hopelessly onesided game that showcased Chelsea’s impressive strengths. Ancelotti reflected this week on the failure of Chelsea’s main rivals in the title race to make the most of his side’s recent slips and declared himself to be a “lucky” coach. That may be the case, but it quickly became clear that no luck would be needed to dismiss the threat of a patched-up Sunderland side that had been ravaged by injuries. With four central defenders missing, Bruce was forced to press Lorik Cana into action as an emergency centre-back and the Albanian midfielder looked hopelessly out of place. The pattern for the game was set after just two minutes when Florent Malouda released Joe Cole only for the England midfielder to scuff his shot - hardly the best way for a player locked in contract negotiations to start the game. Fortunately for Cole, his team-mates were in a more ruthless mood and that miss was quickly forgotten when Anelka got the scoring underway just six minutes later. Anelka was back in

LONDON: Chelsea’s Frank Lampard celebrates his goal against Sunderland during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge.—AP the side after recovering from a hamstring injury and ready to assume responsibility for leading the attack in the absence of Didier Drogba, absent on international duty with Ivory Coast. And he wasted no time in rising to the challenge, getting in behind the Sunderland defence to collect Ballack’s superb threaded pass and round keeper Marton Fulop before finishing into an empty net. Ten minutes later the game was effectively over when Malouda - another Chelsea player anxious to prove a point and convince Ancelotti he should get more starts - shrugged off a challenge near the halfway line and ran at the heart of the back-pedalling visitors defence. The Frenchman was invited to

run unchallenged into the area where he produced a right foot finish that gave Fulop no chance. Gaps were appearing all over the pitch and it was clear that Chelsea - and Ashley Cole in particular - were beginning to enjoy themselves. The England left-back was able to attack Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley at will and he deservedly claimed the 22nd minute third after latching onto John Terry’s chipped through ball before clipping the ball calmly over Fulop. It was all about damage limitation for Sunderland but they couldn’t even manage that effectively and twelve minutes later Chelsea made it four through Lampard. Once again Ashley Cole was involved, this time serving up a

teasing cross that Lampard volleyed home from six yards out. Surprisingly Chelsea didn’t add to their tally before the break although it took them just seven minutes of the second half to rediscover their scoring touch through Ballack who headed home unmarked from Joe Cole’s cross. Sunderland at least managed to restore a small amount of pride when Zenden scored his first goal for the club, firing home right-footed from Kenwyne Jones’s knock-down in the 56th minute. But Anelka’s second of the afternoon put them back in their place nine minutes later. Lampard headed home from Anelka’s cross in the last minute of normal time before Bent scrambled a second Sunderland goal in added time.—AFP


Yahoo pulled into Google’s China fracas

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Sushi-loving Japan fears push for tuna export ban

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US buyers must beware in China

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

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Morocco targets 10% tourism growth in ’10 MARRAKESH: Morocco aims to draw 10 percent more visitors this year to help fill fast-growing hotel capacity and bolster tourism income after it slipped in 2009, industry and government officials said. Heavy investment in hotels, resorts and holiday apartments has helped the north African country more than double tourism earnings in the past decade -providing a lifeline for a government battling widespread poverty. The number of arrivals kept growing last year despite the global economic downturn, with an increase of 6 percent, but income fell as tourists spent less. “We aim to realise growth of 10 percent (in 2010 tourism numbers), or three times the world trend that is forecast,” newly-appointed Tourism Minister Yassir Znagui said in a speech on the first day of industry event the Moroccan Travel Market. Industry officials said the rise in tourist numbers hoped for this year would not come at the expense of profitability. Last year visitor arrivals grew to 8.35 million while rival markets such as Spain and Tunisia fell, according to government figures. But industry estimates show the number of hotel stays fell 1.6 percent and tourism income slid 5.7 percent to 52.4 billion dirhams ($6.67 billion). “I think in 2010 we can achieve 6 percent growth in foreign currency earnings and get back to the level we were at in 2008,” Othman Cherif Alami, Chairman of Morocco’s National Tourism Federation (FNT), told Reuters. Morocco’s tourism sector hopes new seaside resorts opening their doors, travel operators offering a wider choice of Moroccan holidays and budget airlines adding cheap flights from Europe, will boost earnings per tourist. “We have a strong desire to gear Morocco towards sustainable tourism, respect for the environment and a top quality tourism product,” tourism minister Znagui told Reuters. “That does not imply a drop in profitability.” Delegates in Marrakesh said they saw the Jan 4 nomination of Znagui, previously a City of London financier, as proof of the government’s determination to relaunch big resort developments put on hold when the financial crisis struck. The government was forced to scale back its ambitions for Plan Azur, a chain of new holiday resorts along the country’s Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines paid for mostly by investors from the Arabian Gulf, Europe and North America. Industry officials said two of the resorts - Mogador near the southern port of Essaouira and Lixus near Larache in the north should open in July and at the end of the year respectively. Another two that were delayed when investors backed away - Taghazout near Agadir and Plage Blanche in the far south - could also be viable again before long, they said. Plage Blanche, victim of the insolvency of Spanish property developer Fadesa, seems to have been revived in part by an unnamed Egyptian investor, delegates said. Taghazout has seen two investors, including US-based Colony Capital back off, raising questions over whether it might ever happen. “I am sure the new minister will relaunch calls for candidates (to complete) Taghazout,” said Alami of the FNT. “It is the first site he visited 48 hours after he was nominated. I think that shows a strategy to relaunch investments.” — Reuters

Obama pitches bank tax US president chides banks’ ‘audacity’ for fighting fee WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama yesterday pitched his proposed tax on banks to recover the cost of bailing them out during the financial crisis, saying if they can afford billions more in bonuses, they can pay back the taxpayers, too. The banks and Republican lawmakers oppose the tax, which Obama announced this week. “We’re going to pass this fee into law,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address. Congress must approve the tax and that was not assured, given the immediate opposition from Republicans. Democrats also appeared in jeopardy of losing their 60-vote majority in the Senate, with Democrat Martha Coakley in an unexpectedly close race against Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts to fill the seat held for decades by the late Democrat Edward M Kennedy. Brown opposes Obama’s bank tax. Obama was heading to Massachusetts today to campaign for Coakley. The White House’s decision to use the weekly address to speak about the proposed tax instead of the US response to the suffering and devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti suggested one line of attack Obama would use against Brown on Sunday. Obama spoke publicly about Haiti on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and yesterday. The proposed 0.15 percent tax would last at least 10 years and generate about $90 billion over the decade, according to adminis-

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama is accompanied by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday at the White House as he announces a new fee on big banks to recover up to $120 billion in taxpayers’ money used to prop up corporations during the economic crisis. – AP tration estimates. It would apply to about 50 of the nation’s biggest banks, those with more than $50 billion in assets, and include many institutions that accepted no money from the $700 financial industry bailout. Obama said that although the banks were facing a “crisis of their own creation,” the “distasteful but necessary” taxpayer-funded bailout prevented an “even greater calamity for the country”.

Most of the banks have returned the money they borrowed, and Obama said that was “good news”. “But as far as I’m concerned, it’s not good enough,” he said. “We want the taxpayers’ money back, and we’re going to collect every dime.” Six of the biggest US banks are on track to pay $150 billion in total executive compensation for 2009, slightly less than the record $164 billion in 2007 before the financial crisis

struck, according to the New York state comptroller’s office. Obama challenged those who say banks can’t afford the tax without passing the costs on to shareholders and customers. “That’s hard to believe when there are reports that Wall Street is going to hand out more money in bonuses and compensation just this year than the cost of this fee over the next 10 years,” he said.— Agencies

Saudi private sector to pick up strongly RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s private sector growth is expected to recover to 3.7 percent in 2010, but will continue lingering below 4.7 percent of 2008, prior to the global financial crisis, Credit Agricole’s Saudi affiliate said. The growth in the private sector - which hit a 14-year low of 2.5 percent in 2009 - will be driven mainly by state spending and bank lending, Banque Saudi Fransi said in a report issued over the weekend. Lending is expected to grow 8 percent this year, up from 2.1 percent in 2009, but still down from a 27 percent rise in 2008. The report said the Saudi central bank is more likely to raise interest rates than lower them in 2010 in order to counter a possible surge in inflationary pressures. The government has set spending at 540 billion riyals ($144 billion) in 2010, up 13.7 percent from projected state expenditures in 2009. The private sector accounts for about 46 percent of the kingdom’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “The largest budget in Saudi history is designed to encourage private sector businesses to loosen their purse strings and urge banks, awash with liquidity, to jumpstart lending following a slow 2009,” it said. The global economic slowdown coupled with a drop in oil

revenues - the domestic economy’s backbone - slowed the Saudi economy to the verge of contraction in 2009, likely eking out growth of 0.15 percent compared to 4.3 percent in 2008. Problems were further aggravated by multi-billion dollar debt defaults last year by some family-owned firms, which made banks more meticulous on lending and hurt profits after rapid lending growth over the previous six years. As a result, unemployment among the native Saudi population more than doubled to 15.2 percent in 2009 from 6.2 percent a year earlier, the report’s data showed. “(The) expansion of the private sector is set to take a turn for the better along with credit expansion at Saudi banks ... Our view (is) that improvements in business activity will be gradual and cautious,” Fransi said. The bank expects Saudi GDP to grow 3.9 percent in 2010. Fransi expects banks to loosen up on their reluctance toward lending to the public and private sectors, a barrier that choked the private sector during 2009. “This year, banks will have little choice than to lend more as they emerge from a period of challenging revenues and an unfavourable low interest rate environment,” Fransi said. — Reuters


BUSINESS

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Berkshire prepares to split B-shares 50-for-1 OMAHA, Nebraska: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is getting ready to split the company’s Class B shares next Thursday as part of its plan to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. The 50-for-1 stock split, which shareholders will vote on Wednesday, will boost the liquidity of Berkshire’s stock, and enable Berkshire to offer even small BNSF shareholders Berkshire stock as part of its $26.3 billion cash and stock deal. The added liquidity Berkshire will have as a result of the split will also increase the chances that the Omaha-based company will join the S&P 500 index. Berkshire’s Class A shares, which are the nation’s most expensive stock, and its Class B shares have been difficult to trade because of their high prices. Berkshire’s Class A shares, which sold for $97,500 Friday, are not being split. Class B

shares, dubbed “Baby Berkshires”, were first issued in 1996 to meet demand from smaller investors and discourage investment firms from reselling pieces of Berkshire’s original shares - which became the Class A shares. Buffett declined to discuss the stock split Friday, ahead of Wednesday’s special shareholder meeting in Omaha. Berkshire’s board has said in documents sent to shareholders that it supports the split regardless of the BNSF deal. Next week’s split will make the $3,247 Class B shares significantly more affordable: They will be worth $64.94 apiece. That will take the B shares from 1/30th the value of a Class A share to 1/1,500th of Berkshire’s Class A shares. “Now everybody will have access to it,” said Andy Kilpatrick, the stockbroker-author who wrote “Of Permanent Value: The Story

of Warren Buffett.” The fact that the split may lead to inclusion in the S&P 500 is also significant because so many investors rely on it as a barometer for the economy. For years, Buffett has measured Berkshire’s annual performance against the index in his letter to shareholders. Being included would also generate new investment in Berkshire because trillions of dollars mirror moves in the index, and many funds buy stock in the companies in it. A Standard & Poor’s committee decides which companies to include in the S&P 500 based on a number of different criteria. Spokesman David Guarino declined to comment on the prospect of Berkshire joining the index, but he did explain the factors S&P considers. Berkshire’s market capitalization of $151 billion would easily exceed S&P’s requirement that a company be worth at least $3.5

billion in the eyes of the stock market. But in the past, Berkshire has been left out of the index because its shares have been cumbersome to trade. S&P uses a formula comparing the dollar value of stock traded to a company’s market capitalization to evaluate liquidity. Buffett’s charitable plans are another factor that will increase the number of Class B shares available to trade in the future. Buffett has pledged to convert all his Berkshire holdings to B shares and donate them to charity over time. Buffett pledged in 2006 to gradually give 10 million B shares to the Gates Foundation, 1 million B shares for the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation named in honor of his deceased first wife, and 350,000 shares for each of the three foundations run by his three children. Morningstar analyst Bill Bergman said any company that gets added into the S&P

500 always sees a boost in its stock, but he thinks many investors have already factored that into Berkshire’s shares. So becoming part of the S&P 500 may not mean much to Berkshire’s share price. “It’s an interesting development, but as far as the value of the shares go, it doesn’t mean much,” Bergman said. The Class B split was a key part of the BNSF deal when it was announced in December. Berkshire agreed to pay $100 per share in cash and stock for the 77.4 percent of BNSF shares that it didn’t already own. The purchase will be the largest ever for Buffett’s company. Berkshire and BNSF have said they expect the deal to close in the first quarter, and the Ft. Worth, Texas, railroad has scheduled a Feb 11 shareholder vote on it. Berkshire expects the majority of the shares issued in the $100-per-share deal will be

Class A shares, but holders of smaller amounts of BNSF shares who opt for a share exchange rather than cash will receive Class B shares. Having smaller B shares will enable Berkshire to complete the deal without splitting many shares. If both Berkshire’s and BNSF’s shareholders approve, Berkshire will become the owner of the nation’s second-largest railroad. BNSF hauls grain, coal and consumer products across 32,000 miles of track in 28 western states and two Canadian provinces. Berkshire already owns more than 60 subsidiaries, including clothing, furniture, jewelry and corporate jet firms, but its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company’s revenue. It also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. —AP

Yahoo gets pulled into Google’s China fracas Alibaba slams ‘reckless’ statement SHANGHAI: Yahoo got pulled into a growing row between China and Google yesterday, as its Chinese partner slammed Yahoo’s statements supporting Google while a source revealed the search giant had stayed silent about cyber-attacks. Yahoo knew it had been a target of sophisticated Chinese cyber attacks on US firms before Google alerted the com-

pany to them, but remained silent while its bigger rival went public, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters. Yahoo’s Chinese partner, e-commerce firm Alibaba Group, in which it owns a 40 percent stake, nonetheless called “reckless” Yahoo’s comment last week that it stood aligned with Google’s positions.

BEIJING: A Chinese man poses with the Google logo and a pair of gloves outside the Google China headquarters yesterday. — AP

US lifts freeze on Argentine funds BUENOS AIRES: A US judge on Friday lifted a freeze on Argentine Central Bank funds that had further clouded the president’s plan to use billions of dollars in foreign currency reserves to pay debt. US District Judge Thomas Griesa froze an account held by the Central Bank in the US Federal Reserve earlier this week, deepening a political and legal row over the reserves plan and raising doubts about possible delays to a planned debt swap. Central Bank Chief Martin Redrado said Griesa had lifted the freeze, which was issued in response to a lawsuit by holders of defaulted bonds, but added that a final ruling in the

case had not yet been issued. “This proves the importance of showing the independence of the Central Bank. What was at stake here? The decision to embargo funds all over the world, not just in the United States,” he told local television. President Cristina Fernandez sacked Redrado last week because he had opposed using $6.6 billion in reserves to help pay some $13 billion in debt obligations this year, but an Argentine judge reinstated him a day later. Redrado reportedly opposed the plan partly because he feared it might allow the so-called holdout bondholders to freeze Central Bank

reserves. The investors are known as holdouts because they rejected a 2005 debt restructuring that saw many bondholders accept a steep discount. Court documents showed Griesa reversed the earlier ruling that blocked all Central Bank transactions. However, his orders still allow the investment funds to look for and put a hold on Central Bank funds that may be held in the United States. Griesa’s embargo further complicated the bid by President Fernandez to ease tight finances by tapping part of the country’s $48 billion in foreign reserves. — Reuters

Meanwhile, a Google spokeswoman yesterday denied Chinese online reports that it has already decided to shut down its google.cn site. “Alibaba Group has communicated to Yahoo! that Yahoo’s statement that it is ‘aligned’ with the position Google took last week was reckless given the lack of facts in evidence,” the firm said in a statement on Saturday. Yahoo said Wednesday it stood aligned with Google’s position that attacks on company networks are deeply disturbing and that violation of Internet user privacy is something that must be opposed. That was a day after Google announced it might exit the China market after suffering a sophisticated cyber-attack on its network that resulted in the theft of its intellectual property. Google said it was no longer willing to filter content on its Chinese language google.cn search engine, and would try to negotiate a legal unfiltered search engine, or exit the market. Its spokeswoman said yesterday that Chinese reports that Google has already taken a decision were untrue, and denied that employees have been put on paid leave. “It’s business as usual,” she said. She said she was “unaware” whether China staff have been denied access to codes, as some bloggers have said, but added that Google is still scanning its systems following the attack.

SOFIA: Participants hold banners and shawls with sign “Save Saab” during a demonstration in front of American embassy yesterday. The demonstration is part of the world-wide Saab Support Convoy campaign aimed at Saab’s owner, US giant General Motors (GM), that has begun the process to wind up the operation down while also stating it was assessing last-minute bids for Saab. — AFP

AIG investigation widens to include Paulson, Friedman WASHINGTON: A House of Representatives committee is broadening its investigation of secretive bank bailouts to include former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and former Federal Reserve Bank of New York Chairman Stephen Friedman. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has invited Paulson and Friedman to testify about their roles in the bailout of American International Group Inc, according to the committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep Edolphus Towns. Lawmakers want to know more about deals that funneled billions from AIG to banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Friedman is a Goldman director who resigned from the New York Fed after suggestions he might have conflicts of interest. California Rep Darrell Issa, the committee’s top Republican, also said he wants Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to answer questions about the bailout, which he helped lead. A Towns spokeswoman said he is “making decisions daily about witnesses and testimony.” A Fed spokesman would not comment. An earlier watchdog report said the bailouts might have cost taxpayers billions more than necessary because officials did not demand concessions from the banks. The money went to satisfy massive financial obligations that AIG was unable to meet without a government rescue. The bailouts were managed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

under the leadership of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Geithner has defended the deals and will testify on Jan 27. Issa asked earlier Friday for Paulson to testify. He asked for the hearing last week after uncovering e-mails in which New York Fed lawyers told AIG to keep some details secret. Issa also wanted the committee to demand documents from the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve by issuing subpoenas. He said lawmakers should question Bernanke. In inviting Paulson, Towns dealt with accusations by Democrats that the hearing was motivated by partisan attacks on Geithner. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, a Democrat, said Thursday that Bush appointees Paulson and Bernanke “outranked” Geithner. Frank said his committee also “will be looking at” the AIG deals. Issa insisted the investigation “is not and has never been about Tim Geithner.” Its goal “is to learn the truth about the apparent waste of billions of taxpayer dollars and the government’s efforts to conceal this waste from the American people,” he said in a statement Friday. Towns said Friday the hearing also will include testimony from Neil Barofsky, the bailout watchdog who prepared a report criticizing the deals; New York Fed general counsel Thomas Baxter; and Elias Habayeb, the chief financial officer of the division that brought down AIG. — AP

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.2830000 .2930000 .4570000 .4680000 .4120000 .4190000 .2780000 .2870000 .2740000 .2830000 .2630000 .2710000 .0045000 .0075000 .0020000 .0035000 .0775980 .0783780 .7560150 .7636130 .4020000 .4180000 .0750000 .0790000 .7408820 .7483280 .0045000 .0072000 .0500000 .0570000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2858500 .2879500 .4597850 .4630330 .4141110 .4173060 .2806850 .2826730 .2761160 .2780720 .0556540 .0560480 .0404910 .0407770 .2651410 .2670140 .0368570 .0371180 .2055820 .2070390 .0030990 .0031210 .0063160 .0063610 .0025070 .0025250 .0033930 .0034170 .0041880 .0042180 .0778650 .0783620 .7586130 .7634510 .4042730 .4071370 .0762660 .0767520 .7428450 .7475830 .0063100 .0063540 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2879500 .4630330 .2826730 .0767520

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES

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470.930 283.700 196.830 284.000 264.500 285.000 ASIAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen 3.213 Indian Rupees 6.277 Pakistani Rupees 3.394 Srilankan Rupees 2.505 Nepali Rupees 3.955 Singapore Dollar 207.000 Hongkong Dollar 36.990 Bangladesh Taka 4.149 Philippine Peso 6.262 Thai Baht 8.724 Irani Riyal - Transfer 0.301 Irani Riyal - Cash 0.292 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 55.250 Egyptian Pound 52.880 Yemen Riyal 1.378 Tunisian Dinar 221.300 Jordanian Dinar 405.200 Lebanese Lira 193.800 Syrian Lier 6.321 Morocco Dirham 37.250 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 76.520 Qatari Riyal 78.840 Omani Riyal 745.420 Bahraini Dinar 762.100 UAE Dirham 78.150 GOLD 20 Gram 221.000 10 Gram 115.000 5 Gram 59.000

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound

SELL CASH SELL DRAFT 268.800 267.300 762.550 762.550 4.530 4.153 282.400 280.900 691.900 15.800 56.500 167.800 207.500 55.410 52.873

Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal 10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

417.300 415.800 37.680 37.530 6.610 6.270 0.035 0.289 0.250 3.260 406.900 405.310 0.194 0.193 87.950 87.950 38.900 4.230 3.950 215.900 214.400 2.183 51.600 744.850 744.670 3.480 3.410 6.440 6.260 79.310 78.880 76.560 76.560 207.550 207.550 41.070 41.070 2.755 2.505 471.500 450.500 41.600 283.500 282.000 6.400 9.060 8.910 222.000 78.240 78.240 287.100 286.700 1.420 GOLD 1,226.800 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 469.500 286.700

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees

286.800 277.900 466.380 417.855 281.340 720.355 760.525 78.065 78.710 76.510 404.710 52.710 6.280 3.385

Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees

2.510 4.165 6.265 3.155 8.685 5.530 3.885

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Candaian Dollars

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 286.750 3.390 6.280 2.515 4.150 6.300 78.110 76.590 762.400 52.725 469.600 0.0000306 1.550 407.400 5.750 421.000 283.500

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

Transfer rate 286.350 414.750 469.600 280.750 3.180 6.280 52.800 2.504 4.146 6.255 3.390 762.000 78.200 76.530

*Rates are subject to change


BUSINESS

Sunday, January 17, 2010

23

Wall St: Earnings growth takes center stage NEW YORK: Profits from top US technology companies like IBM and financial companies like Goldman Sachs Group Inc next week could help stocks gain as long as investors see room for more profit growth. Stronger-than-expected results late Thursday from tech bellwether Intel Corp failed to excite investors on Friday, while steep loan losses reported by JPMorgan Chase & Co dragged down the market. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 23.5 percent last year, with information technology the top-performing sector. It jumped 60 percent, raising questions about whether the sector may have become too expensive. “It’s all about how fast they

can grow earnings to catch up to those valuations,” said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial in Boston. “This is a business spending-led recovery rather than consumer recovery ... so I think earnings growth will remain above average and justify those valuations.” Fourth-quarter results are expected to show a sharp improvement compared with 2008’s last quarter, when the economic downturn took a heavy toll on corporate profits. S&P 500 earnings for the quarter are forecast up 186 percent versus a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters estimates. It would be the first quarter that S&P 500 company earnings grew year over year

since the second quarter of 2007. Next week the earnings period accelerates, with some 57 S&P 500 companies reporting. International Business Machines Corp is scheduled to post results on Tuesday while Google Inc is expected on Thursday. Among financials, Goldman Sachs is expected on Thursday, while Bank of America and Morgan Stanley should report on Wednesday. For the second week of the new year, the three major indexes lost ground. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.1 percent, while the S&P was down 0.8 percent and Nasdaq was down 1.3 percent. The S&P 500 is still up 68 percent since its early March lows, largely because

of stronger-than-expected earnings and economic data. On the economic front, data that could influence stocks next week includes reports on housing starts, producer prices and leading indicators. Data on December housing starts, expected on Wednesday, is forecast to show 580,000 new units from 574,000 in November. More than 70 percent of companies beat estimates in recent reporting periods, and investors are eager to see if the fourth-quarter will produce similar results. The last quarter of 2008 was the worst earnings period in the history of the index. “I think we’re going to get decent numbers relative to estimates,” said Fred Dickson,

market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon. “Valuations have gone up, but so have earnings.” Intel, which fell 3.2 percent to $20.80 on Friday, “had such a good run on the margin front that I think a lot of people are a little bit leery that there’s going to be any further improvement in margins,” said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of US Equity Group, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, said. IBM shares have risen almost 60 percent in the past year as the company cut costs and changed its business mix. Analysts expect the company to report fourth-quarter revenue of about $27 billion, about even with a year earlier, and profit per

share of $3.47 versus $3.27 a year earlier. Financials, which were up 14.8 percent as an S&P sector last year, could benefit from gains in investment banking and other factors, Kleintop said. “Financials still remain the sore spot in the market. If financials are going down, the whole market is going down,” he said. Financials, materials and consumer discretionary companies are expected to have the highest earnings growth for the fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters estimates showed. Energy and industrials are expected to have the lowest. Also set to report next week: General Electric, McDonald’s Corp and American Express Co. — Reuters

Battle of alleged corporate spying escalates

Starwood accuses Hilton execs of stealing secrets NEW YORK: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc accused 44 Hilton Worldwide executives of stealing trade secrets, escalating a battle of alleged corporate spying between the hoteliers. In an amended complaint in Manhattan federal court, Starwood said Hilton Chief Executive Christopher Nassetta knew that two Hilton employees were sifting confidential informa-

TOKYO: A man slices a block of tuna following the morning auction at Tsukiji fish market Jan 12, 2010. – AP

Sushi-loving Japan fears push for tuna export ban TOKYO: Seafood-loving Japan - having faced years of international pressure to stop whaling - finds itself with a potentially bigger fight over a highly prized type of tuna that conservation groups say is being fished to extinction. A proposal to ban the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna - vaunted for its succulent red and pink meat could slash supplies and drive up prices in Japan, the world’s biggest consumer and importer of the fish. Talk of banning imports of the species has made some Japanese feel their very way of life is under attack. The fish is often served as sushi, the iconic Japanese dish. “Any ban is going to have a big impact culturally and economically,” said Masaru Nakazawa, a 63-year-old wholesaler at Tokyo’s sprawling Tsukiji fish market. But environmentalists say the Atlantic bluefin is a vanishing species and insist a ban on its export by the world body that governs wildlife trade is the last chance to save it in the face of skyrocketing global demand and a failure by governments to abide by existing quotas. Bluefin tuna, of which the Atlantic and Pacific are the most common species, is served in upscale sushi restaurants worldwide - but any export ban would hit Japan hardest. Japan buys nearly 80 percent of the annual Atlantic bluefin catch. Top-grade sushi with fatty bluefin - called “o-toro” here - can go for as much as 2,000 yen ($20) a piece in high-end Tokyo restaurants. Atlantic bluefin accounted for about half the 47,400 tons (43,000 metric tons) of bluefin tuna that Japan consumed in 2008, the last year for which statistics were available. The other half came mostly from the Pacific. Member countries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, will consider the proposed ban at a meeting in Qatar in March. Monaco, which proposed the measure, said the bluefin species numbers have fallen by nearly 75 percent since 1957 with most of the declines occurring in the past decade and that current measures are not enough to ensure it is fished sustainably. If the proposal is approved, Atlantic bluefin would be listed in Appendix 1

of the convention, which would allow only domestic consumption within countries of the European Union. Activists say that would lower the catch substantially because shipments to Japan would be prohibited. A ban would also likely raise prices for bluefin in the US. But the biggest impact would be consumer awareness: People would be prompted to avoid ordering bluefin, said Trevor Corson, the New York-based author of “The Story of Sushi.” “If (Atlantic) bluefin tuna becomes an endangered species, that’s big news. That will wake a lot of people up,” Corson said. In Europe, the market impact of a ban may be limited because bluefin sushi is still rather rare, served at only at the most exclusive restaurants. Greenpeace has successfully pressured some restaurants in Europe not to serve the fish. The listing is the toughest action possible and activists expect a fierce fight over the proposed ban, led by Japan and southern European nations that catch the bulk of Atlantic bluefin including Turkey, Spain, Greece, Italy and Malta, where thousands of jobs depend on catching and shipping the fish to Japan. Francois Simard, a fisheries expert, predicts that Japan could support the species being listed on Annex II, which would tighten the international trade but not ban it. “The Japanese are quite strong on this and many countries are with them,” he said. Some in Japan also worry that a ban could open the door for bans on trade in other tuna species. “This could set a dangerous precedent. The list could grow to include the yellowfin and bigeye tuna, too,” said Hisao Masuko of the Japan Tuna Fisheries Cooperative Association. “If nothing is done, we won’t have any tuna at Tsukiji fish market.” The International Commission on the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna already sets quotas on the annual catch and reduced the 2010 limit to 14,900 tons down from 24,250 tons in 2009 and 31,400 tons in 2008. But environmentalists say the quotas are widely ignored, and only a ban on trade will allow tuna stocks to recover. Sergi Tudela, who heads the fisheries pro-

gram for WWF Mediterranean Program, said the main problem is a “lack of political will” to fight illegal fishing. Japan also blames European nations for failing to properly implement conservation measures. Mediterranean countries, including Spain and Turkey, say they are working hard to enforce the quotas, and should be given more time to work. Pedro Maza, president of the Andalucian fishing federation, which represents the traditional rod-caught tuna fishing fleet of southern Spain, acknowledges there is a problem but opposes cuts or bans. He says strict controls are not enforced on big industrial fleets and fish farms. Japan needs to tread carefully, because it already faces intense international criticism for whaling. It kills 1,200 whales each year under a scientific program allowed by the International Whaling Commission despite a moratorium on commercial whaling. Whale meat is sold in Japanese fish shops and restaurants, but it is not widely eaten. Hideki Moronuki, section chief of the ecosystems conservation office Japan’s Fisheries Agency, said at the CITES meeting Japan planned to be “as cool as possible in order to secure the sustainable use of marine living resources.” He said Japan would avoid bringing up the controversial issue of whaling. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society sends ships to Antarctica each season to try to stop the hunt. Last week, a Japanese whaler collided with a small, anti-whaling boat. No one was seriously injured, but the Sea Shepherd ship had to be abandoned and sunk. For fishermen at the Tsukiji market, the debate over whaling and tuna sounds at times more like a clash of cultures than a fight to save an endangered species. The Japanese diet depends heavily on seafood, so as long as tuna and whales are harvested responsibly, people should be free to hunt and eat what they want, they say. “Americans and Europeans eat meat. They’re kind of imposing their ways on us,” said Yoshiyuki Hoshiba, a fish wholesaler as he sliced a slab of red tuna with a sword-like knife. “Are cows and sheep less intelligent than whales?” — AP

Before shifting to Hilton, both Klein and Lalvani were employees of Starwood, where they were in charge of efforts to expand and develop Starwood’s luxury brands, including its popular W hotel chain. Attorneys for both Klein and Lalvani said the lawsuit has no merit. Nassetta has not been named a defendant in the case, but Starwood said in court papers filed on Thursday that he did not voice any objections to the use of confidential information. “At least 44 Hilton executives were personally involved in or aware of and condoned Hilton’s wrongdoing,” including five on its executive committee, Starwood said. Starwood wants the court to appoint monitors to ensure Hilton complies with any injunctions the court has granted and may grant in the future. Not only that, it wants the court to prevent Hilton from expanding its luxury and lifestyle brands, including its Waldorf Astoria hotels, for a “reasonable time.” “The Hilton luxury and lifestyle brands ... are all infected by Hilton’s wrongful use of Starwood confidential information,” Starwood said in the complaint. “Hilton knows this.” Hilton spokesman Aaron Radelet declined to comment. Hilton is the world’s fourth-largest hotel chain by number of rooms. Starwood ranks eighth. EXPANDING ALLEGATIONS In the original lawsuit, Starwood accused Hilton and two former executives of stealing trade secrets to speed Hilton’s foray into the lifestyle hotel market with a new brand, Denizen. Hilton said at the time the lawsuit had no merit. Klein and Lalvani have since left Hilton and the development of the Denizen hotel chain has been halted. “Starwood’s complaint paints an exaggerated, misleading and false picture of what really happened,” said Ronald Nessim, an attorney for Klein. “While mistakes were made by everyone involved, including himself, Starwood and Hilton, Ross Klein acted in good faith and with no intent to injure Starwood.” Christopher Morvillo, an attorney for Lalvani, said: “Starwood’s amended complaint, like the one before it, contains numerous misleading statements and mischaracterizations of fact.” The lawsuit sheds light on the highly competitive nature of the US hotel industry and the growing importance of the so-called lifestyle brands to the future growth of hotel companies. The introduction of Starwood’s “W” hotel in 1998 unveiled the voracious appetite of travelers for trendy hotels with chic designs and a crowded bar. Major hotel operators have been clamoring to gain a foothold in this market, which can command a higher room rate. “You might say (Starwood) invented the lifestyle brand,” said Janet Brashear, an analyst with Bernstein Research. “It’s their core competitive position. They’ve got to defend it.” Starwood now claims that Hilton’s head of global development, Steven Goldman, also knew of the alleged theft. “The status of every deal in Starwood’s pipeline was contained in deal log reports that Lalvani emailed to his personal email account after he was recruited by Goldman, but prior to his leaving Starwood,” the complaint said.— Reuters

tion from Starwood and using it to create a new hotel chain. The amended complaint is the latest twist in the lawsuit between Starwood and Hilton. Starwood first sued Hilton in April, saying two of the company’s executives, Ross Klein and Amar Lalvani, developed a new group of hotels for Hilton called Denizen, using a confidential formula crafted by Starwood.

BIRMINGHAM: In this Nov 20, 2009 file photo, chocolate moves down the production line at the Cadbury factory. Cadbury PLC on Thursday said that The Hershey Co would have to “pay a great price” if it decided to formally wade into the bidding against Kraft Foods Inc for the British candy maker. – AP

Kraft may raise Cadbury bid Hershey to bid at least $17.9bn CHICAGO: Kraft Foods chief Irene Rosenfeld has a long weekend ahead of her and may leave Cadbury shareholders unsatisfied at the end of it. Kraft is expected to raise its $17.1 billion bid for Cadbury Plc by a Tuesday deadline in its final offer for the British chocolatier. Shareholders should not expect Kraft’s sweetened offer to reach 820 pence per share, from a current offer valued at about 771p, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. That is nowhere near the 850p level that some investors have signaled they would hold out for. But Rosenfeld is limited in her ability to raise the bid, particularly following a public warning by top Kraft shareholder Warren Buffett against overpaying. On the other hand, she is loath to risk coming in too low and face outright rejection from Cadbury holders or lose a deal to an eleventh-hour bid by potential rival Hershey Co. The Wall Street Journal late on Friday reported that Hershey has concluded it has the financial muscle to top Kraft’s offer and will likely make a bid next week of at least 800 pence to 820 pence, or $17.9 billion. A new bid by Kraft would be the final move in Rosenfeld’s four-month quest for Cadbury, now viewed as a referendum on her tenure at Kraft. “At the end of the day, her seat is a lot hotter than it used to be, regardless of whether they get Cadbury bought or not,” Edward Jones analyst Matt Arnold said. Analysts and investors believe that Kraft needs to pay between 800p and 850p a share to seal the deal. But the world’s secondlargest food maker may be

tempted to hew closer to its current offer if it believes the chances for a rival bid from Hershey are low enough. “If the final offer is worth 800 pence, I think there is a 50 percent chance it gets done,” said the manager of a New York hedge fund that owns Cadbury stock. “At that level it’s the flip of the coin. Every 10 pence on top is an extra 5 percent probability that the deal gets done.” The investor added that Kraft should include a cushion in its final bid in case its stock falls on concerns over plans to issue up to 370 million shares to fund a deal. “If the bid is 830 pence, I want to be sure it is still worth that much on the day I tender,” he said. Investors have until Feb 2 to respond to the Kraft bid. Question of Leadership Even if Kraft wins Cadbury, Kraft investors will not be sold until the company shows it can manage the integration and that the investment meets financial goals, Arnold said. If Kraft fails to win Cadbury, Rosenfeld will have spent millions of dollars on an array of advisers to doggedly pursue an unwilling target. She will need to show the company can boost sales and profits without Cadbury and without a growing pizza business whose recent sale was meant to fund a bid. DA Davidson analyst Tim Ramey wrote a scathing note to his clients this week suggesting that Carlos Gutierrez, a former Kellogg Co CEO and US Secretary of Commerce, might run Kraft instead. “Given the high-profile rebuke by No 1 shareholder Warren Buffett last week, we wonder how the board

feels about the leadership of Irene Rosenfeld,” Ramey said. Rosenfeld did gain another influential investor in her corner when William Ackman disclosed his Pershing Square Capital Management bought a 2 percent stake in Kraft and said a Cadbury combination was “good for everyone.” But he also cautioned that Kraft should minimize the use of stock in the deal. A Kraft spokeswoman said the board supports the Cadbury bid and that the company was ready to deliver top-tier performance regardless of whether a deal succeeded. “The Kraft Foods’ Board unanimously voted to proceed with this bid and the Board remains unanimously behind our offer,” said Perry Yeatman. But without Cadbury, No 2 in the fast-growing confectionery market, Kraft still needs help to deliver growth. “It’s right back to where it started, which is a decent collection of brands with a below-average geographical and category alignment longerterm,” Janney Capital Markets analyst Jonathan Feeney said of Kraft in a research note. Listening Tour Rosenfeld went to London this week to listen to Cadbury investors and gauge their sentiment on the bid. “She was encouraged to offer around 850 pence a share,” said an investor that attended one of the meetings. “And she told us she was confident that she could finish the deal, although she didn’t reveal her hand.” The upper end of the range at 850p might be enough to win a recommendation from Cadbury and the deal would turn friendly, although

chances of Kraft making an offer that high without a competing bidder are seen as slim to nonexistent. “I’d be disappointed if Kraft only offered 800 pence but if it is 800 pence versus no other bid, then 800 pence would do it for us,” said a manager of another New York-based hedge fund that owns Cadbury stock. In December, Kraft offered 300 pence in cash and 0.2589 share for each Cadbury share. Last week, after agreeing to sell the pizza business for $3.7 billion to Nestle, it offered 60p more in cash in lieu of Kraft shares. Kraft made the move to assuage Cadbury shareholders who are skeptical of its growth prospects and to appease Kraft investors over plans to issue new shares. That same day, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said it was voting against Kraft’s proposed share issue, calling it a request for a blank check from shareholders. Buffett has left open the option of changing his mind. Sources familiar with the situation have said that Kraft would be able to finance a bid for whatever it thinks that Cadbury is worth, so Buffett’s statement and Rosenfeld’s own pledge to be disciplined are likely the main constraints. Rosenfeld has said that any bid must allow Kraft to maintain its investment grade rating and dividend and add to cash earnings per share by the second year. After Kraft makes its final offer, Hershey has until Jan 23 to make its own fully financed bid. Analysts doubt Hershey can mount a bid that still allows the Hershey Trust to maintain voting control over the company and protects its debt. — Reuters


24

BUSINESS

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Health agencies call for more study on bisphenol-A NEW YORK: US health agencies said Friday research shows cause for concern over the chemical bisphenol-A’s potential effect on children when used to make baby bottles and the linings of cans of liquid infant formula, but more study is needed. The US Department of Health and Human Services said Friday they would expand efforts to research and track possible harmful effects of BPA. The chemical is used to harden plastics and has been used in water bottles, canned food lining and hundreds of other household items. The Food and Drug

Administration ruled last year trace amounts that leach out of bottles and food packaging are not dangerous. FDA officials then said they would revisit that conclusion after scientists complained it relied on a small number of industry-sponsored studies. Some scientists believe that BPA exposure can harm the reproductive and nervous systems and possibly promote cancers. They point to findings of dozens of animal studies involving BPA, though the negative effects have not been recorded in human studies. BPA is found in hundreds of kinds

of plastic items, everything from glasses to CDs to canned food, including liquid infant formula. About 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies, as the chemical leaches out of food containers. The American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group, reiterated Friday that studies have supported the safety of BPA. The group represents BPA producers including Dow Chemical Co, Bayer AG and Hexion Specialty Chemicals. “Extensive scientific studies have shown that BPA is quickly metabolized and excreted and does not accu-

mulate in the body,” said an American Chemistry Council statement. “BPA is one of the most thoroughly tested chemicals in commerce today.” Regulators, though, feel there is a need for more research. William Corr, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said continued concerns over the subtle effects of BPA in laboratory animals prompted the agencies to develop a new research plan, with coordinated efforts from the Department of Health, the FDA, and others. The agencies will use $30 million in funding over the next 18 to 24

months to further assess the chemical in animal and human studies. “It has not been found or proven to be harmful to children or adults,” Corr said. “But the data we’re getting deserves a much closer look.” Meanwhile, the Department of Health recommended several steps for families concerned about BPA’s effects on infants and children, including throwing away scratched plastic baby bottles and refraining from putting hot liquids in bottles that could contain BPA. FDA Commissioner Dr Margaret Hamburg said that agency shares concerns over potential health

issues with BPA but “needs to know more.” The agency, meanwhile, supports industry measures to stop the production of BPA-lined containers and cans. The six major makers of baby bottles and infant feeding cups no longer use BPA in those products in the US, the agency said. Those products, which include Gerber and Playtex, represent more than 90 percent of the US market. Meanwhile, the agency wants a better regulatory framework for the chemical. Currently, the chemical is in a regulation that doesn’t require industry disclosure on the

amounts used in products. Dr Sarah Janssen, a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, said the FDA already has the authority to ban certain uses of BPA, despite the agency’s claim. “More research is always good, but we know enough now to act,” she said, calling the more aggressive stance on the chemical “too little, too late”. “They could have made some very clear recommendations. Instead, they made some conflicting statements that didn’t give any clear advice,” she said.— AP

President seeks to blunt effects of soaring inflation

Chavez ups Venezuelan minimum wage by 25% CARACAS: President Hugo Chavez announced a 25-percent increase in Venezuela’s minimum wage Friday to try to blunt the effects of soaring inflation, and defended his handling of an energy crisis and other domestic problems. Chavez challenged opponents’ predictions that his popularity could take

a dive due to measures such as last week’s currency devaluation and rolling blackouts imposed by the government. “They say the country is collapsing ... that Chavez is going to fall,” he said in his annual state-of-the-nation address to the National Assembly.

CARACAS: Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez plays the harp prior to delivering his annual state-ofthe-nation speech to the National Assembly. – AP

Russia rules to hurt US beef exports WASHINGTON: New Russian inspection rules could trim US beef exports to the market as of Feb 1, two influential US senators said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Friday, urging action on bilateral meat trade issues. Russia’s veterinary service has asked the US Agriculture Department to reinspect US beef plants exporting to Russia by Feb 1, and bar any not meeting Russian requirements from shipping meat, a spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative said. “The United States and Russia have mutually agreed-upon audit requirements, in place of Russian requirements, that US beef production facilities must meet to be eligible to export to Russia,” Nefeterius McPherson said. She said US trade officials will discuss the changed rules next week in Moscow dur-

ing talks about Russian food safety measures that have effectively banned imports of US chicken and pork. If the Russian standards are put into place, that would significantly affect US beef exports, said Blanche Lincoln, chairman of the Senate agriculture committee, and Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the committee. “We urge you to fully engage all administration resources to address these agricultural trade issues,” the senators told Obama. Russia informed the United States about its concerns on beef on Nov 20, the USTR said. “It has to do with issues of plant protocol on testing and how things operate” at several large US beef plants, a meat industry source said. The US meat industry is watching the situation to see whether it escalates, another

industry official said, noting it was too early to tell whether beef exports would be affected. Russia has effectively banned imports of US poultry amid concerns about a chlorine wash used by US producers. It also has banned almost all US pork in recent weeks on allegations the meat contained excessive antibiotic residues. Last year, Russia was the 10th-largest market for US beef and was worth $95 million-a small share of total US beef exports of $3.6 billion, according to government data. For 2009, the value of Russian imports as of November was down 60 percent. The news had little effect on US cattle futures because of the small size of US beef sales to Russia, said Peter Adams, principal at PNM Trading in Chicago. “It’s a big splash in a small puddle,” he said. — Reuters

Activists scuffle with police over Hong Kong rail project

HONG KONG: Police attempt to remove a protestor from a sit-in outside the Legislative Council (LEGCO) building yesterday during a demonstration against a controversial $8.6-billion railway project. – AFP

HONG KONG: More than 1,000 protesters staged a sit-in outside Hong Kong’s Legislative Council late yesterday after lawmakers approved a controversial $8.6-billion high-speed railway project. The group surrounded the council building and refused to let transport chief Eva Cheng and other government officials leave after lawmakers voted in favour of the project at the end of an eight-hour meeting. “Withdraw the proposal. Eva Cheng, shame on you!” the protesters, mostly students and young professionals, chanted as hundreds of policemen looked on. Cheng was in her car in the council’s carpark for about an hour before she was forced to return to the building, with protesters refusing to leave. “Nobody can represent our voice. So we came here tonight to make our voice heard,” Henry Lam, 24, told AFP. Police earlier used pepper spray on some of the protesters as they tried to break through a barricade. The council meeting was the third held to discuss funding approval for the project, which will link Hong Kong and Guangzhou, capital of neighbouring Guangdong province. The GuangzhouShenzhen-Hong Kong Rail Link will form part of China’s national high-speed rail network and allow people to travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou in 48 minutes, just under half the current duration of the journey. Officials say the project is important for fostering economic ties between Hong Kong and major cities on the Chinese mainland and hope construction will be completed by around 2015. “The project has been through a 10-year consultation... It is an important investment,” Cheng said after the meeting. Pro-democracy legislators tried to delay the decision, saying the public had not been properly consulted and that the scheme was over-priced. They also said it would benefit only developers while forcing villagers along the route to relocate. Protesters said the project received the green light only because the election system allows the majority of the Legislative Council seats to be filled by pro-government politicians.— AFP

“They are going to be disappointed.” Chavez’s opponents are looking to capitalize on a range of vulnerabilities as they try to regain control of the National Assembly in September elections: energy shortages, 25-percent inflation, a banking scandal involving businessmen with ties to the government, rampant crime and heaps of trash lining potholed city streets. “They say everything is Chavez’s fault. But with so much repetition, which is what they do, some people end up believing them,” he said. “There’s a government here that knows what it’s doing.” Chavez isn’t easily thrown off balance by adversity, and “El Comandante” seemed very much at ease as he greeted hundreds of spirited supporters outside the assembly upon his arrival. He briefly strummed on a harp, joining a musical group playing “joropo”, folk music from the sun-baked central plains where the president was born and raised. Chavez said the minimum wage will increase 10 percent in March and 15 percent in September, bringing it to nearly 1,200 bolivars, or $521 at a new preferential exchange rate set last week for priority goods such as food. Inflation is widely expected to surge higher this year after last week’s devaluation. Chavez’s government also began power outages of up to four hours a day throughout the country this week. But a day after the measures took effect, Chavez suspended the outages in the capital of Caracas, saying the rationing plan was riddled with mistakes. Critics say Chavez backtracked in response to widespread anger among the city’s estimated 6 million residents. Venezuelans have also been coping with water rationing, and the government turned to power outages to prevent an electricity collapse. Drought has drained water to near-critical levels behind Guri Dam, which supplies most of Venezuela’s electricity. “We’re used to living with problems in Venezuela, but now they are accumulating and reaching intolerable levels, and everything indicates that they are going to get worse,” opposition politician Ramon Muchacho said in a telephone interview after Chavez’s speech. “Even though I recognize the president as an excellent campaigner,” Muchacho said, “I’m sure the opposition can capitalize on this and regain political ground that it’s lost.” Pollster Luis Vicente Leon said the blackouts and the devaluation are likely to have a negative impact on Chavez’s popularity, although the president could possibly boost his standing with heavy government spending ahead of congressional elections in September. Leon said Chavez’s popularity stood slightly below 50 percent in a December poll by his Caracasbased polling firm, Datanalisis. The energy crisis and inflation seem to be forcing Chavez into damage-control mode and will likely press him to try to minimize his own responsibility in the problems and find scapegoats, Leon said. Chavez has repeatedly won re-election during his 11year presidency, but the panorama ahead of the elections “isn’t an easy or agreeable situation” for him, Leon said. “It’s a much more complicated situation.” — AP

GUANGZHOU, China: Foreigners seen at a multi-level jewelry wholesale market in southern China’s Guangdong province yesterday. – AP

US buyers must beware in China GUANGZHOU, China: David Smith pushed a cart piled high with boxes of beads and other jewelry through a maze of shops at a wholesale market in southern China. The American shop owner said he would screen the trinkets for lead before they hit the shelves of his Arizona stores. But he was unaware of the recent discovery of hazardous levels of cadmium in Chinesemade children’s jewelry. It’s small US buyers like Smith who are playing a key role in importing untested products from Chinese factories that ignore safety standards and cut corners to earn a bit more profit. They often fly into China for a whirlwind buying trip and don’t have the time or resources to properly assess their suppliers. Many don’t bother to perform quality checks as the goods are being made. Blind faith is a key element in the business deal. Dressed in jeans, a brown plaid shirt and running shoes, Smith looked like he was ready to go hiking Friday as he maneuvered his cart full of boxes with “Tucson” written on them in black marker. He has been coming to China for 15 years, he said, and was confident he has developed a good eye for jewelry that might contain lead. “I’ve learned that you make bad decisions when you’re tired, and don’t buy at the first place you see,” said Smith, whose two stores in Tucson are called A Beaucoup Conge. China’s latest quality controversy erupted this week after an investigation by AP found that 12 of 103 pieces of Chinese-made children’s jewelry bought in US stores contained at least 10 percent cadmium, some in the 80-90 percent range. Two others were found to have less than 10 percent in laboratory tests and the rest had none. Cadmium, like lead, can hinder brain development in young children, according to recent research. It also causes cancer. American businessman Rick Goodwin, who has worked in China for 20 years, said the country has plenty of unscrupulous factories. But he said a major problem was foreign buyers who, because of greed, naivete or ignorance, approach China like it’s just a discount shopping center. The country is really a developing nation, where buyers need to be highly selective about the factories they use, Goodwin said. “You just can’t fly into

China, get off the airplane and say, ‘Can you take me to the jewelry department please?’” said Goodwin, chairman of Concept Holdings, a company based in the southern city of Dongguan. The firm deals with goods as varied as Tshirts, hunting knives, ceramics and lapel pins. Goodwin said jewelry dealers should only buy from factories that use XRF sensors a handheld gun that tests for cadmium, lead and several other toxic metals. He said his company bought its own XRF gun, which costs between $35,000 to $50,000, so it can do its own tests. “If the factory can’t afford to buy that gun, they shouldn’t be making your product,” he said. A man at the Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China said representatives had gone to meet with officials from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, China’s chief quality watchdog, to discuss the problem. “We’re paying great attention to the situation,” said the man, who would not give his name or provide further details because he was not authorized to talk to the media. A woman at the news office of the quality watchdog said they still had no response to faxed questions from the AP. Paul Midler, author of the new book “Poorly Made in China”, agreed that buyers have to be diligent. But he didn’t blame them for the cadmium controversy. It’s too difficult for buyers to stay on top of all the possible contaminants that might be going into products, he said. Jewelry dealers might have asked to have lead-free products, but might have not thought to ban cadmium too. “You cannot blame the buyers, who are in no position to guess what new trick has been introduced in their supply chain,” said Midler, whose book is based on his experiences working as a sourcing agent helping Western importers find Chinese factories to make their goods in southern China. Midler added that testing doesn’t always work so well. “The problem with relying on third-party testing is that you need to know what you are looking for,” he said. “You can’t give a sample to the laboratory and say, ‘Tell me if there’s any bad stuff in this product’. They charge for each screen that they run, and so you have to tell them what to look for. It’s the case of unknown unknowns.” Midler,

who worked for an American company that was making shampoo and skin lotion at a Chinese factory, describes in his book how the factory was caught changing the formula for products without consulting the US company. Its Chinese partner also unilaterally decided to use thinner plastic bottles to save money. For many buyers, the relationship with their suppliers begins on the factory’s website, an exchange of emails or a meeting at a trade show booth. Often the factory has a sample that catches the buyer’s eye and an order is placed. Other buyers have a product they want to make in China, and they award the bid to factories that can produce their product at the lowest price. One thing that frequently happens in China is that factory owners will bid extremely low - even to the point where they have no profit - just to win an order. Once they’ve got the business, they search for ways to cut corners so they can widen their profit margin and recover what they lost with their lowball bid. They might switch to cheaper lead paint or buy inexpensive metal containing cadmium. This is called “quality fade”. To avoid misunderstandings and deviations, many buyers will create an elaborate “bill of materials” - a document that specifies what kind of materials must be used in the product. A furniture maker might specify the type of foam used in a chair’s padding and what size nail will be used. The more experienced buyers will create an elaborate, highly technical bill of materials that is signed by both sides. But the document doesn’t have much teeth if buyers don’t hire their own quality control staff to supervise the making of their products. Factories are notorious for making subtle, cost-saving changes to the product. Christopher Devereux, managing director of the Guangzhou-based consulting firm Chinasavvy HK Ltd, said that in China’s business environment, even suppliers that have had a long and reliable relationship with you can’t always be trusted. “You get a supplier and you think, ‘Oh well, I checked it all out and this supplier is great’,” said Devereux. “Those are the ones you really need to watch because once they think they have our confidence, that’s when they start slipping little things in, little by little. And every single batch has to be checked.” — AP


BUSINESS

Sunday, January 17, 2010

25

KUWAIT: The new 2010 Cadillac SRX is unveiled and draws a crowd and admiring glances from visitors. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Alghanim & Sons launch 2010 Cadillac SRX KUWAIT: Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons Automotive commenced the new year in style with the launch of the all new 2010 Cadillac SRX. The event, held at the Sahara Kuwait Resort, was attended by officials from Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons, General Motors representatives, leading media personnel, and car enthusiasts from across Kuwait who had the opportunity to be among the first to test drive the all new 2010 Cadillac SRX. The completely redesigned 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover brings a more dynamic alternative to the luxury crossover segment, featuring a dramatic design both inside and out and a new high tech efficient engine on new luxury crossover architecture. Bringing a glamorous aura of luxury and visibly revamped performance to the people of Kuwait, the completely redesigned 2010 Cadillac SRX is powered by a new, fuel-efficient direct injected 3.0 liter V-6 engine that delivers 283 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 229 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm of torque. The 3.0

liter engine uses Variable Valve Timing to optimize power and fuel efficiency and reduce emissions and utilizes direct injection technology. The 2010 SRX provides a driving experience which combines the best elements of a sports sedan with excellent traction capability. The new, advanced AWD system features an Electronic Limited-Slip

a unique feeling of openness and freedom. The briefest of glances would immediately note that the Cadillac SRX design is nothing short of magnificent. This magnificence also extends to the inside of the vehicle. Hand-cut-and-sewn coverings on the instrument panel and ambient lighting details convey a finely tailored cabin, while the

The 2010 SRX provides a driving experience which combines the best elements of a sports sedan with excellent traction capability. Differential, which enables the system to distribute torque from the front to rear axle. The design of the SRX is both luxurious and contemporary. A multi-piece shield grille and Cadillac’s iconic vertical headlamps blend into a tightly wrapped, sweeping body that tapers downward at the rear. 18” and 20” chrome wheels are both available on the SRX, and the sunroof, one of the largest in the segment, covers 70% of the roof of the vehicle, giving passengers

integrated center stack houses controls for climate and audio systems. The navigation system which rises from the center of the instrument panel is only the beginning of the convenience and entertainment features in the Cadillac SRX. Bose 5.1 Surround Sound 10-speaker system, USB, and a CD/DVD player with 40 GB hard drive and MP3 playback make every form of technological entertainment available to passengers. As with every Cadillac, safety

Sultan Qaboos University honors Oman Air Oman Air was honored recently at the premises of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), for sponsoring the 3-day Tourism Festival held there. This was the fifth edition of the annual tourism festival to be organized by the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University. One of the biggest activities organized by the student community, this festival creates awareness about the potential that Oman holds as a tourist destination. Oman Air has always taken a proactive role in nurturing the efforts of the students’ community especially in areas where it can identify its products and services with the event. Corporate Communications and Media of Oman Air said that the national carrier encourages student activities that are aimed at developing the learning interests among the students. The students of SQU have always shown their earnest interest in creative pursuits in subjects related to their curriculum. They stated that there was a huge turnout for last year’s Tourism Festival, which had interesting spots like a dedicated corner for the various themes of tourism found in Oman that included medical tourism, historical tourism, cultural and adventure tourism,

dard front seat-mounted pelvic/thorax side air bags, front safety belts with dual pretensioners and load limiters, rollover mitigation sensors and trailer stability assist. This year promises to be quite an exciting one at Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons. Devoted to providing only the most advanced vehicles and unparalleled after-sales services, the company has yet again brought the epitome of performance and luxury to the streets of Kuwait.

KUWAIT: Officials from Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons, General Motors representatives, leading media personnel, and car enthusiasts attend the unveiling of the new Cadillac at Sahara Kuwait Resort.

Jazeera Airways expands convoy KUWAIT: Jazeera Airways celebrated the delivery and inauguration of yet another state-of-the-art aircraft the airline’s newest Airbus A320- at Kuwait International Airport on January 12, 2010. The arrival of the new aircraft, which has 12 seats in Business Class and 147 in Economy, brings the airline’s total fleet size to 11, with a further 29 aircraft to be delivered over the next few years. This latest addition to the airline’s fleet demonstrates Jazeera’s dedication to investing in its aircraft and exemplifies the swift rate at which the airline is expanding. Flying directly from its manufacturing facility in Toulouse, France, the aircraft touched down at Kuwait International Airport, where Jazeera’s CEO, Stefan Pichler,

KUWAIT: Jazeera’s CEO Stefan Pichler is seen with some of the crew members of the newly introduced aircraft.

explained the significance of its arrival. “We are very pleased to announce the arrival of our brand new 11th Airbus A320. This new aircraft marks yet another important occasion for us in the history of Jazeera’s expansion and will serve to fuel future growth, by allowing us to add even more new destinations and increase the frequency of routes to already popular destinations, across our existing network he said. Jazeera Airways now operates a fleet of 11 Airbus A320s. Each aircraft is fitted with the airline’s signature leather seating, while the Jazeera Business Class cabin offers travelers the highest standards of comfort, relaxation and a range of inflight amenities. The airline flies to destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Iran.

ADIH announces new job opportunities Tourism Voice FM which was an internal FM inside the venue that covered the happenings, also an exhibition of projects and creative ideas by the students, to name just a few. “Oman today is hailed by the world press as a must-see unique destination. By encour-

aging events such as these organized by the student community, Oman Air is sowing the seeds for a well-informed future generation that looks at their country with pride and welcomes the guests with warmth and love,” Oman Air’s CC&M concluded saying.

Charts display mixed signals SAUDI STOCK MARKET REPORT Last week the market opened at the 6260 point’s level. It then rose to register a high of the week at the 6343 point’s level on Sunday. It then declined to register a low of the week at the 6238 point’s level on Tuesday. It finally closed the week at the 6262 point’s level. During the whole week the market moved in a narrow range of just 105 points. Sentiment was mixed and on a week on week basis the index gained just 1.93 points (0.03%) after having gained 139 points in the previous week. And the market seems to be consolidating at current levels. Technically, the charts continue to display mixed signals and there are no clear indications of a reversal in trend on the weekly charts. Investors are advised to adopt a wait and watch policy until a clearer signal emerges.

features are intricately secured with the new SRX. The vehicle ranks amongst the safest vehicles in its class, with the most basic of features being full standard offering of active and passive safety systems which protect occupants before, during and after a crash. Additional safety features include standard head curtain side air bags, stan-

MUMBAI: Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) announced yesterday the commencement of enabling works and site facilities for its US$ 400million 1.62 km India Entertainment City development, in Navi Mumbai. This includes site offices, boundary fences and other areas that will assist contractors to perform other infrastructure related work. It also announced that Phase II of the infrastructure work on the project, comprising 75% of the total area, will commence in February 2010. ADIH awarded a contractor Phase II of the infrastructure work which includes civil works and roads network. Remaining infrastructure work includes electrical, telecommunication and data services; central gas network and district cooling; in addition to a landscaping and pavements. India Entertainment City is one of a series of Shari’a-compliant ‘Entertainment Cities’ funds created by ADIH, first of which is currently being developed in Doha, Qatar. The concept is an embodiment of a mixed-use development, encompassing residential, commercial / retail and entertainment components. The entertainment component will include film and multi-media studios, movie theatres, convention halls and other cultural elements. The residential area will consist of medium to high living areas including branded villas and neigh-

borhoods. India was selected as an ‘Entertainment City’ destination due to a few contributing factors such as the resilience of the Indian economy, government’s support to economic boost as well as expected growth of demand on Real Estate - from both investors and end users. This is in addition to the Entertainment industry which presents boundless opportunities.

The project is believed to contribute to the economy where it will provide numerous new job opportunities. Moreover, the chosen location for IEC, the rapidly developing commercial and industrial hub of Navi Mumbai, which is located on the outskirts of Mumbai City, will ensure that IEC becomes the heart of the entertainment industry. The sites are strategically located at the confluence of several arterial roads and

IEC masterplan

in close proximity to several large infrastructure projects. The area has access to well-developed rail linkages as well as one of India’s largest and most modern seaports - Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust. The area is also located in close proximity to other large industrial areas, providing access to several feeder industries. Further, its location on the Pune-Mumbai-Thane knowledge corridor provides the site with instant access to skilled

manpower in the region. A formal ground breaking ceremony of the Economic Development Zone of which India Entertainment City is a component will take place in February this year. India Entertainment City has a team of experts supporting it, including RTKL - project masterplannes, in addition to an Advisory Board which comprises of international leaders within the entertainment industry.


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BUSINESS

KSE continues streak of unpredictability KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) continued to display volatile performance during the past week, reflecting the state of cautiousness prevailing over traders’ movements, as they are facing difficulty in a anticipating the market’s direction in the foreseeable future, in light of absence of growth incentives. Last week witnessed the dominance of speculation over the course of trading in addition to quick profit taking transactions, which had a prominent role in market’s activity. KSE was able to record growth on the first day of the week, and then it started fluctuating afterwards with a tendency towards declining. The market’s investors are in a state of anticipation for the annual results of listed companies in general, and the results of the banking sector in particular. On the other hand, they are keeping an eye on the developments in the local political and economic scenes, specifically with regard to the put forth economic development plan, which is expected, when approved and implemented, to reflect positively on the performance of KSE. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,986.3 points, down by 0.36 percent from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 1.08 percent weekly loss after closing at 382.14 points. Nevertheless, KSE continued to witness growth in trading activity, as average of daily turnover grew by 10.36 percent to reach

took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of K.D. 72.67 million represented 25 percent of the total market trading value.

KUWAIT STOCK EXCHANGE

K.D. 58.13 million, whereas trading volume average amounted to 533.45 million shares, at an increase of 23.73 percent compared to previous week’s levels. Sectors’ indices Five of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the red zone, while the other three recorded increases. The Banks sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 3.01 percent to end the week’s activity at 8,198.7 points. The Insurance sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 2.95 percent, closing at 2,805.6 points, followed by the Investment sector, as its index

closed at 5,476.2 points at a loss of 1.39 percent. The Non-Kuwaiti Companies sector was the least declining as its index closed at 7,280.7 points with a 0.06 percent decrease. On the other hand, last week’s highest gainer was the Food sector, achieving 3.38 percent growth rate as its index closed at 4,412.0 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Services sector’s index closed at 14,915.7 points recording 0.88 percent increase. The Real Estate sector came in third as its index achieved 0.32 percent growth, ending the week at 2,799.7 points.

Sectors’ activity The Real Estate sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 991.69 million shares changing hands, representing 37.18 percent of the total market trading volume. The Investment sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 25.71 percent of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 685.78 million shares. On the other hand, the Services sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of K.D. 83.41 million or 28.70 percent of last week’s total market trading value. The Real Estate sector

Market capitalization KSE total market capitalization declined by 1.01 percent during last week to reach K.D. 28.99 billion, as four of KSE’s sectors recorded a decrease in their respective market capitalization, whereas the other four recorded increases. The Insurance sector headed the decliners list as its total market capitalization reached K.D. 334.86 million, decreasing by 3.76 percent. The Banks sector was the second in terms of recorded decline with 2.85 percent decrease after the total value of its listed companies reached K.D. 9.66 billion. The third place was for the Investment sector, which total market capitalization reached K.D. 3.08 billion by the end of the week, recording a decline of 2.32 percent. On the other hand, the NonKuwaiti Companies sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached K.D. 2.93 billion, increasing by 1.68 percent. The Services sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 0.70 percent increase after the total value of its listed companies reached K.D. 7.83 billion. The third place was for the Food sector, which total market capitalization reached K.D. 739.81 million by the end of the week, recording an increase of 0.56 percent.

Masdar launches new development project KUWAIT: Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy initiative, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Japan’s Cosmo Oil Company and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have launched an advanced Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Central Tower research and development project at Masdar City. The state-of-the-art, collaborative research project will test an innovative ‘beam down’ technology, which has the potential to convert solar irradiation into electricity in a more efficient way than other technologies - producing a commercially viable ‘beam down’ process would represent a significant breakthrough in (CSP) technology.

The ‘beam down’ process inverts conventional solar tower technologies, which uses mirrors (heliostats) to direct the sun’s rays onto a receiver at the top of a central tower to heat a heat transfer fluid (molten salt, oil, or water) in order to generate steam, which is then used to drive a steam turbine. By placing the receiver at the base of the tower (ground level), the research team believes that they can reduce energy losses resulting from pumping the fluid to an elevated receiver, raising operational efficiency and lowering electricity generation costs. Talking on the importance of the project and the development of solar power technologies, Dr Sultan Al-Jaber, Chief

Executive of Masdar said “Solar thermal technology is a key research area for Masdar, and we are committed to working together with our partners to advance these technologies even further. Our strategic partnership with Cosmo Oil and the Tokyo Institute of Technology enables us to explore innovative procedures or the improvement and efficiency of solar thermal energy production. The initial project findings have been very positive and if the results continue to be successful, ‘beam down’ technology has the potential to revolutionize the way in which all solar towers are built in the future.“Masdar has once again shown its commitment to establishing Abu Dhabi as a global renewable ener-

gy hub, consistently raising the bar in terms of our investment in new technologies that serve to create a better tomorrow for us all,” he concluded. The research agreement between Masdar, Cosmo Oil and the Tokyo Institute of Technology is the most recent component of an ongoing effort by the UAE to position itself as a global leader in the area of renewable energy technologies, which began with the establishment of the Masdar Initiative in 2006. Earlier last year, the leadership of Abu Dhabi committed itself to a 7% renewable energy target by the year 2020 and Abu Dhabi was selected to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Masdar City.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

GBCORP, Batelco ink contract for Indian telecom acquisition MANAMA, BAHRAIN: Global Banking Corporation and Batelco Group, the Bahrain based leading regional telecommunications operator, have taken the first step forward in a strategic partnership for the acquisition by GBCORP of an 11 percent stake in S Tel, India - a joint venture telecom company, established between the Batelco Group and the Siva Group, India. Highlighting the strategic partnership, GBCORP Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al-Jasmi, said: “We are greatly pleased to partner with the Batelco Group in their joint venture telecom project in India. While 2009 has been a challenging year, because of the turbulent economic times, we have nevertheless been able to turn these challenges into opportunities. Batelco has an excellent record of accomplishment in establishing a footprint across the region, with operations in seven markets across the Middle East, North Africa and now Asia. The partnership with Batelco is a significant measure of our way forward strategy of building investment bridges through strategic partnerships, identifying new investment opportunities and diversifying our investment portfolio. “We are delighted and welcome GBCORP as our investment partner in BMIC Limited, a company which will hold a 49 percent stake in S Tel India, subsequent to GBCORP’s investment” slated Peter Kaliaropoulos, Group Chief Executive of Batelco. “Effective partnerships with other telecom operators and strategic investors have been a successful formula, as we are expanding into new markets” added Kaliaropoulos. “We value GBCORP’s tremendous investment banking expertise and vision to team up with the Batelco Group and participate in diversifying its investment base, creating value from growth opportunities in India - one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world” he added. “Our investment in S Tel India is part of Batelco’s growth and expansion strategy in wireless and broadband markets. We explored a number of investment opportunities in India and S Tel was judged to be the most suitable investment for Batelco’s entry into the Indian telecommunications market and it fits with our long term plans to diversify our geographical footprint and dramatically increase our scale,” he said, “We are very pleased with S Tel’s achievements to date. Since launching operations in December, S Tel has already acquired more than 300,000 customers from its launch in just three services areas out of six. Together with our investment partners, GBCORP and the Siva Group we aspire to make S Tel a leading and formidable operator in India’s rural sector” added Mr Kaliaropoulos. Ahmed Al-Khan, Senior Executive Director, Head of Investment Banking at GBCORP, said: “As an investment bank, our first priority is to ensure that any investment opportunity conforms with our stringent risk mitigation parameters and due diligence measures. Our key focus has been in identifying and addressing the key risk quadrants like compliance, operational, financial and

strategic, thereby ensuring the ideal synergy in terms of partnerships and at the same time, adhering to the prescribed financial investment model to ensure sustainable cash flows.” “I am satisfied that S Tel addresses these key risk-parameters. GBCORP and Batelco have developed an optimum synergy, capitalizing on our inherent investment banking expertise and Batelco’s track record of acquisitions in the regional market and sound operating and technical know-how. The Siva Group in India has a rich experience in the telecom industry in India, with acknowledged in-depth management expertise and market reach to leverage on emerging opportunities.” “We have been very conservative in our business projections and are very encouraged by the fact that S Tel has in the weeks since it commenced operations in December 2009, already established a healthy subscriber base of over 300,000. This is an outstanding achievement by S Tel, in such a short period of time and exceeds all our expectations. This also reinforces the accuracy of our projections and validates our business strategy.” “This investment initiative is part of our overall diversification strategy of broadening our investment portfolio into the lucrative private equity market in new and emerging markets of the world.” “In terms of the telecom market in India, the next significant growth area is the potential C Circle, comprising India’s North East region, which covers 26 percent of the area and 20 percent of the population.” “Subscribers in this segment will account for 35-45 percent of the total subscriber base by 2012, making it one of the fastest growing telecom market segments. We are privileged to be part of this strategic partnership between the Batelco Group and the Siva Group.” Al-Khan concluded by saying that India is an important investment destination. “We believe the rapid strides in the Indian telecom sector, facilitated by liberal policies of the Indian Government and GBCORP’s strategic partnership with Batelco, have opened up a window of opportunity for GBCORP in the telecommunications sector in India.” Finalization of GBCORP’s investment is subject to preconditions, including approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) of Government of India. S Tel was established, to gain entry into the rapidly growing mobile markets of North East and North West India. S Tel will focus on delivering innovation and value and aspires to grow rapidly to respond to the needs of these largely untapped areas. Vaidyanathan Srinivasan Group CEO of Siva Group said that S Tel has Unified Access Services Licenses to operate in six Indian circles - Orissa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North-East, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir and commenced operations in December 2009 in Orissa, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh. “The strategic partnership with the Batelco Group and a strong investment bank, such as GBCORP, will enable S Tel to make significant strides into the telecom market in India” he emphasized.


TECHNOLOGY

Sunday, January 17, 2010

27

Nexus One stumbles as Google joins smartphone race SAN FRANCISCO: Google is learning that being a star contender in the smartphone arena takes more than a big name and well-crafted hardware. Nexus One has stumbled since its grand launch on January 5 as buyers grumble that there is nowhere to go but online for answers to complaints or questions. “You would have to call their approach either naivete or hubris,” said Interpret analyst and vice president of strategy Michael Gartenberg. “Google has learned a number of things; most importantly that selling the device is only part of the equa-

tion.” The Internet giant unveiled its new Nexus One smartphone in a direct challenge to heavyweight Apple’s iPhone handsets, billing it as a “superphone” and the next step in the evolution of its Android software. Google worked with Taiwanese electronics titan HTC to make the Nexus One handsets, sold exclusively from the Internet company’s online shop at google.com/phone. There are no real-world stores or service centers for the devices. The touchscreen devices sell for 179 dollars if bought with service from T-Mobile, while “unlocked”

handsets that can work with any telecom providers cost 529 dollars each. “You have to wonder what Google was thinking putting this thing out there with no place for customers to call for support and automated email support that takes days to get answers,” Gartenberg said. “There is a reason that Apple invests so much and devotes so much space in their stores for service and support after sale (of an iPhone).” Nexus One hardware stands up to iPhone devices but premium smartphones are about “ecosystems” that include synching with online services

Network flaw causes scary Web mistake SAN FRANCISCO: A mother and her two daughters logged onto Facebook from mobile phones last weekend and wound up in a startling place: strangers’ accounts with full access to troves of private information. The glitch, the result of a routing problem at the family’s wireless carrier, AT&T , revealed a little known security flaw with far reaching implications for everyone on the Internet, not just Facebook users. In each case, the Internet lost track of who was who, putting the women into the wrong accounts. It doesn’t appear the users could have done anything to stop it. The problem adds a dimension to researchers’ warnings that there are many ways online information , from mundane data to dark secrets , can go awry. Several security experts said they had not heard of a case like this, in which the wrong person was shown a Web page whose user name and password had been entered by someone else. It’s not clear whether such episodes are rare or simply not reported. But experts said such flaws could occur on e-mail services, for instance, and that something similar could happen on a PC, not just a phone. “The fact that it did happen is proof that it could potentially happen again and with something a lot more important than Facebook,” said Nathan Hamiel, founder of the Hexagon Security Group, a research organization. Candace Sawyer, 26, says she immediately suspected something was wrong when she tried to visit her Facebook page yesterday morning. After typing Facebook.com into her Nokia smart phone, she was taken into the site without being asked for her user name or password. She was in an account that didn’t look like hers. She had fewer friend requests than she remembered. Then she found a picture of the page’s owner. “He’s white, I’m not,” she said with a laugh. Sawyer logged off and asked her sister, Mari, 31, her partner in a dessert catering company, and their mother, Fran, 57, to see whether they had the same problem on their phones. Mari landed inside another woman’s page. Fran’s phone , which had never been used to access Facebook before , took her inside yet another stranger’s page, one belonging to a young woman from Indiana. They sent an e-mail to one of their own accounts to prove it. They were dumbfounded. “I thought it was the phone , ‘Maybe this phone is just weird and does magical, horrible things and I have to get rid of it,”’ said Candace Sawyer. The women, who live

together in East Point, Georgia, outside Atlanta, had recently upgraded to the same model of phone and all used the same carrier, AT&T. Sawyer contacted The Associated Press after reporting the problem to Facebook and AT&T. The problem wasn’t in the phones. It was a flaw in the infrastructure connecting the phones to the Internet. That illuminates a grave problem. Generally Web sites and computers are compromised from within. A hacker can get a Web page or computers to run programming code that they shouldn’t. But in this case, it was a security gap between the phone and the Web site that exposed strangers’ Facebook pages to the Sawyers. Misconfigured equipment, poorly written network software or other technical errors could have caused AT&T to fumble the information flowing from the Sawyers’ phones to Facebook and back. Fortunately, Hamiel said, the vulnerability would be of limited use to a hacker interested in pulling off widespread mayhem, because this hole would let him access only one account at a time. To do more damage the criminal would have to pull off the unlikely feat of gaining full control of the piece of equipment that routes Internet traffic to individual users. AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said its wireless customers have landed in the wrong Facebook pages in “a limited number of instances” and that a network problem behind those episodes is being fixed. The Sawyers experienced a different glitch. Coe said an investigation points to a “misdirected cookie.” A cookie is a file some Web sites place on computers to store identifying information , including the user name that Facebook members would enter to access their pages. Coe said technicians couldn’t figure out how the cookie had been routed to the wrong phone, leading it into the wrong Facebook account. He also said AT&T could confirm only that the problem occurred on one of the Sawyers’ phones, possibly because they had logged off Facebook on the other two before reporting the incident. Facebook declined to comment and referred questions to AT&T. Some Web sites would be immune from this kind of mix-up, particularly those that use encryption. A Web browser would have trouble deciphering the encryption on a page that a computer user didn’t actually seek, said Chris Wysopal, cofounder of Veracode Inc., a security company. Sensitive sites and those used for banking and e-commerce generally use encryption.

aBut most other sites, including some Web-based email services, don’t use it. One way of checking: The Web addresses of encrypted sites begin with “https” rather than “http.” Facebook uses encryption when user names and passwords are entered, to cloak the sign-on from snoops, but after the credentials are entered the encryption is dropped. It’s unclear how many people were affected by the problem the Sawyers discovered, and whether it was limited to Facebook. The reason all three women experienced the glitch is a function of the way cellular networks are designed. In some cases, all the mobile Internet traffic for a particular area is routed through the same piece of networking equipment. If that piece of equipment is misbehaving or set up incorrectly, strange things happen when computers down the line receive the data. Usually that means a Web site simply won’t load, said Alberto Solino, director of security consulting services for Core Security Technologies. In the Sawyers’ case, “somehow they got the wrong user but they could keep using that account for a long period of time. That’s what’s strange,” he said. The AP tried to contact two of the people whose Facebook pages were exposed to the Sawyers, but the calls and emails were not returned. It’s unclear whether they are also AT&T customers, though security experts said that’s likely the case. Indeed, it was the case in a similar incident in November. Stephen Simburg, 25, who works in marketing, was home for Thanksgiving in Vancouver, Washington, when he logged onto Facebook from his cell phone. He didn’t recognize the people who had written him messages. “I thought I had gotten really popular all of a sudden, or something was wrong,” he said. Then he saw the picture of the account owner: A young woman. He got her e-mail address from the site, logged off and wrote the woman a message. He asked whether he had met her at some point and she had borrowed his phone to check her Facebook account. “No,” she wrote back, “but I was just telling my family that I ended up in your profile!” Simburg and the woman figured out they were both using AT&T to access Facebook on their phones. (AT&T had no comment because the incident wasn’t reported to the company.) “I felt like I had been let down by the phone company and by Facebook,” he said. He says he has put the incident behind him. But one piece of it remains: He and the young woman are now Facebook friends.— AP

and compatibility with hip, fun or functional “apps,” according to Hubert Nguyen of popular gadget website Ubergizmo.com. “The hardware of the Nexus One is by and large better, but it is only half the experience,” Nguyen said. The Nexus One display is sharper and the processing faster than the iPhone, while innovative speech-to-text software lets people dictate email or text messages. “It even recognized what we were saying and got it down correctly,” said Ubergizmo’s Eliane Fiolet. Nexus One batteries do seem short-

lived, running out of power in a day even with minimal use. The main complaints about Nexus One are aimed at customers having no recourse other than to deal with shipping or technical woes over the Internet. While signal strength and coverage is in the hands of telecom providers and hardware gripes might best be aimed at HTC, it is Google’s phone so the California firm is the frontline for complaints no matter where problems lie. “It’s good to be bold and it’s good to be aggressive, but the Nexus One launch was aggressive and bold in

ways that seemed to more irritate than delight,” Gartenberg said. “Google many find they are also challenging their partners to look elsewhere for an operating system if Google is going to create a store, exclude other vendors and compete against them.” Prior to making its own smartphone, Google’s open-source Android operating system was being hotly adopted by hardware makers such as Motorola, which used it in a heavily-marketed Droid model. Google has not disclosed sales numbers for Nexus One devices, but

estimates by industry trackers place the first week’s figures at around 20,000 units. “If they had sold a million devices, they would have shouted it from the rooftops,” Gartenberg said of Google. “It is clear to me they haven’t taken the world by storm here.” Google this week cut 100 dollars from the price charged to existing TMobile customers and promised refunds to those who paid an original 379 dollars to upgrade to Nexus One from other devices. “It shows details were not well thought out in advance,” Gartenberg said.— AFP

Technology comes to the aid of Haiti

Americans text aid to Haiti

WASHINGTON: Online maps, mobile phone donations, wikis and a slew of websites are being deployed as telecoms firms, technology giants and startups set aside their rivalries and put the latest tools to work to help earthquake-ravaged Haiti. “Technology is playing a key role in mobilizing support for the victims of the Haiti earthquake and also in coordinating relief efforts,” said Akhtar Badshah, Microsoft’s senior director of global community affairs. Badshah, in a blog post, said Microsoft had donated 1.25 million dollars and was working with NetHope, which brings together Care, MercyCorps, WorldVision and other humanitarian organizations with technology companies. Cisco and Intel are also members of NetHope, which is seeking to establish Internet connectivity for the various relief agencies on the ground helping victims of Tuesday’s quake, which left tens of thousands of people dead. Microsoft said a NetHope Haiti Emergency Center was already serving as a focal point for reports, events, contact lists and collaboration. Google, besides making a one-milliondollar donation for rescue and relief, offered its online mapping and satellite imagery tools to aid workers so they can better evaluate damage and coordinate responses. The Internet giant also created a Web page devoted to linking people with charitable groups such as the American Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. Apple, meanwhile, was allowing iTunes users to make donations of from five dollars to 200 dollars to the Red Cross directly from their accounts at the online music store. Millions of dollars in donations to the Red Cross, Yele, a charity set up by Haitian-born hiphop singer Wyclef Jean, and others have been raised after US mobile phone companies made it easy to contribute money by text message. “Yele” and “Help Haiti” remained among the most popular topics on Twitter on Friday as users of the microblogging service-a vital source of news in the first hours of the quake-urged one another to give by text message. US telecom companiesfrom AT&T to Verizonannounced donations for relief efforts, free calls to Haiti or assistance in helping rebuild its shattered communications infrastructure. “Haiti’s need for communications services is extraordinary and urgent,” said Julius Genachowski, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission. “It is vitally important that people on the ground in Haiti have the communications capacity to conduct rescue and recovery missions, connect with loved ones... and move forward with overall recovery efforts,” he said. Telecoms Without Borders deployed two emergency teams to set up satellite facilities for use by emergency responders and planned another network to allow people to make free two-minute calls anywhere in the world to relatives. On the Web, a number of sites were posting pictures and messages aimed at reuniting families or locating missing persons including the International Committee of the Red Cross’s FamilyLinks.icrc.org and the Haitian Earthquake Registry at haitianquake.com. Google was offering a “person finder” at HaitiCrisis.appspot.com while an “Earthquake Haiti” group on Facebook was providing a similar service and had attracted more than 186,000 members as of Friday afternoon. — AFP

WASHINGTON: They were asked to text HAITI to 90999 or Yele to 501501 and in three days, a million Americans pledged millions of dollars in aid to quake-stricken Haiti using their mobile phones. Donations of 10 dollars a time began streaming in by text message to the special 90999 number set up by the American Red Cross within hours of the powerful earthquake rattling Haiti, and by Friday evening, the pledges exceeded 10 million dollars. “We’ve raised more than 10 million dollars from more than one million donors through the SMS Haiti relief campaign,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. “It has become the single largest mobile donation campaign ever,” said the chief US diplomat, who will travel to Haiti yesterday. American Red Cross spokeswoman Abi Weaver told AFP that Americans have tapped out rapid-fire donation messages to the relief agency at the rate of about 100,000 dollars an hour. Her colleague Christi Harlan called the flood of US donations to help victims of Tuesday’s powerful earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and left many trapped under the rubble “amazing, gratifying and very, very needed.” A text message campaign run by Yele Haiti, a group founded by former Fugees singer Wyclef Jean, who has Haitian roots, raised more than two million dollars by Friday. “Somewhere in the vicinity of 350,000 dollars came in the first evening, roughly a million dollars on the second day and another million on Thursday,” said Albert Angel, head of Give on the Go, the company running the group’s fundraising effort. By texting “Yele” to 501501, Americans can donate five dollars to help desperate quake survivors in Haiti, and the message can be resent up to six times. Money can also be delivered to the Clinton Foundation (text number 20222), the International Medical Corps (85944), the International Rescue Committee (25383) and the Salvation Army (52000) by simply texting “HAITI” to their special phone numbers. More aid groups are joining the mobile relief effort by the day. Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision were poised to enlist Friday, and on Monday, another group of “very large charities will be added,” said Jim Manis, head of the Mobile Giving Foundation. Manis, who has been credited with starting mobile giving and whose group coordinates the US text-to-give campaign, first tested texting for a cause after the Asian

Pledges exceed $10 million

PORT-AU-PRINCE: In this image released by the US Navy, USS Carl Vinson flight deck crew members prepare bottled water for delivery on Friday to those affected by earthquake in Haiti. — AFP tsunami in 2004. That effort raised 150,000 dollars-a sum long since exceeded by the Haiti quake mobile relief effort. But it also gave new impetus to a phenomenon Manis calls “grassroots philanthropy.” “These are emotional events and people want to reach out and help but sometimes they can’t they don’t have a credit card or they forget to write a check or go online to make a donation,” he said. “The immediate nature of mobile allows for that impulse action to occur. That’s what we’re seeing with Haiti and we’re seeing it translate into new demographics and new people who are supporting emergency relief

efforts.” In theory, text messages only represent a pledge and don’t become a cash donation until mobile phone customers pay their monthly bill. But mobile phone companies began stepping up to the plate Friday, when Verizon Wireless said it was not waiting for the billing cycle to run its course and had transferred nearly three million dollars in funds to the American Red Cross. “Time is of the essence and it makes sense for us to toss aside our normal financial processes to get money where it can do the most good, in the fastest way possible,” Verizon president Lowell McAdam said in a statement. — AFP

Google’s Android platform poised to take on iPhone DENVER: One of the most important developments of the past 18 months has been the iPhone’s emergence as a breakthrough platform for music applications. But thanks to Google’s Android platform, Apple’s iPhone will face some meaningful competition this year in the mobile music app market. Unlike the iPhone, which is a device developed and manufactured by one company, Android is a smart-phone operating system offered to any phone manufacturer that wants to build products around the technology. In addition to integrating such popular Google services as Gmail and Google Maps, Android devices can access the Android MarketGoogle’s answer to Apple’s App Store, where users can buy and download a variety of mobile apps from a selection of third-party developers. Music apps created for the iPhone have already had a huge impact on digital music services. Such access-based services as Pandora, Spotify and Rhapsody created free and fee-based apps for the iPhone as their default portable option. Labels and recording artists have followed with custom iPhone apps of their own. That’s great for the 30 million-plus iPhone users. But developing mobile music apps for more than just iPhone users will be critical if mobile access to digital music is to become mainstream. So far, Android phones have been a mere afterthought, capturing to date just 3.5 percent of the worldwide smart-phone market compared with the 17 percent that the iPhone has harnessed, according to tech

research and consulting firm Gartner. This year, that’s expected to change. Not only will existing Android-based manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and Samsung increase production of sleek new Android handsets in the months ahead, but LG Electronics and Sony Ericsson will join them. By 2012, Android phones will be the second-largest smart-phone platform worldwide with 18 percent of the market, according to Gartner, second only to Nokia. Gartner projects BlackBerry to rank third at 13.9 percent, with the iPhone fourth with 13.6 percent. Leading the drive is Motorola’s Droid, which is available through Verizon Wireless. According to app analytics firm

Flurry, Verizon sold more than 250,000 Droid devices in the first week of availability, benefiting from a massive TV ad campaign. Time magazine named it the top gadget of the year. By contrast, Google’s newly introduced Nexus One phone, available from Google directly and from partner T-Mobile, sold only an estimated 20,000 units its first week out, according to Flurry. Sales for the Nexus One are sure to grow as Google ups its marketing efforts and adds other wireless operators. By bringing the cachet of the company’s name to the table, a Google-branded handset might be able to do more to kick-start the Android economy than even a critical mass of third-party devel-

opers. The iPhone’s success is as heavily dependent on consumer loyalty to the Apple brand as it is on the iPhone’s capabilities. For Android to compete, it will need a similarly robust brand identity, which Google can provide. For Android to be a truly competitive platform for mobile music apps, the number of Android-based apps will need to increase sharply. Currently, there are more than 100,000 apps available for the iPhone, but only 20,000 for Android phones. Android apps offer some advantages over their iPhone counterparts, including their ability to run in the background, to access content stored on a handset and to interact with Web-based Google tools. — AFP


HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can gays raise healthy kids? US marriage trial asks SAN FRANCISCO: Children raised by gay and lesbian couples develop just as well as those brought up by traditional couples, a British child psychologist on Friday told a US federal court considering whether a California ban on gay marriage denies constitutional rights. Pedophile priests and whether the number or gender of parents was most important were core topics in testimony. Lawyer David Thompson, defending the ban, jousted with Michael Lamb, head of the Social and Developmental Psychology Department at Cambridge University, about whether a child growing up without a father or without a mother would face developmental problems. Two gay men and two lesbian women are asking the federal court to rule the right to marry

has no exceptions under the US Constitution, a fight they hope to take all the way to the US Supreme Court in a bid to overturn bans on same-sex marriage in 40 states. A key question in the case is whether government, and USvoters, have a reasonable justification for denying same-sex couples the right to marry, such as promoting healthier families, or if the bans reflect discrimination and hatred. The record of evidence gathered by Federal District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, including the issue of whether gays are good parents, may be relied upon heavily by appeals courts, which generally do not have as much time to review a case as in the original trial. Walker asked one of the most striking questions of the day what the rash of

pedophile priests suggested about the abilities of gays and lesbians in bringing up children. “You’ve testified that there is no reason to protect children from lesbians and gays,” said Walker. “How do you square your statement with that phenomenon,” the judge asked. “I don’t want to convey the fact that homosexual individuals never abuse children, simply that they are no more likely to do so than heterosexual individuals,” Lamb replied. A witness for the same-sex couples, Lamb argued that the quality of the relationship between a child and parents, the relationship between the parents, and the economic resources available to the family were the top issues for healthy children-not the gender or sexual preference of parents.

Kids had no trouble with their own sexual identity or other development due to growing up with samesex parents, he argued, and the ways fathers and mothers interacted with kids was not as important as having two parents, he said. “Children clearly benefit when they have two parents, both of them actively involved,” said Lamb. Asked if mothers and fathers interacted differently with children, he replied, “It is now quite clear that those differences in and of themselves do not significantly affect children’s adjustment,” he said. Thompson questioned the validity of dozens of studies. “Dr. Lamb likes to talk about this rich deep literature and he doesn’t have any studies that are married, biological parents,” the optimum for raising children, Thompson told the judge. Instead

studies mixed married and unmarried heterosexual couples, which Lamb conceded was often the case. But Lamb said the conclusions were sound and pointed to a new study based on total US census data that showed children raised by gay and lesbian couples were no more likely to be held back in school. Proponents of the gay marriage ban will produce their own witnesses later in the trial and attempt to show there is good reason to believe homosexual parents endanger children. Passage of the ban known as Proposition 8, in November 2008, stunned gay advocates in the United States and ended same-sex marriage in California, whose Supreme Court had legalized such unions early that summer.— Reuters

Johnson & Johnson issues massive recall of Tylenol Moldy smell making people sick NEW YORK: Johnson & Johnson issued a massive recall of over-thecounter drugs including Tylenol, Motrin and St. Joseph’s aspirin because of a moldy smell that has made people sick. It included caplet and geltab products sold in the Americas, the United Arab Emirates, and Fiji. Consumers should check the full list at www.mcneilproductrecall.com to identify the recalled batches. It was the second such recall in less than a month because of the smell, which regulators said Friday was first reported to McNeil in 2008. Federal regulators criticized the company, saying it didn’t respond to the complaints quickly enough, wasn’t thorough in how it handled the problem and didn’t inform the Food and Drug Administration quickly. The recall includes some batches of regular and extra-strength Tylenol, children’s Tylenol, eight-hour Tylenol, Tylenol arthritis, Tylenol PM, children’s Motrin, Motrin IB, Benadryl Rolaids, Simply Sleep, and St. Joseph’s aspirin. The FDA and Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare Products said they did not know the number of bottles recalled. The FDA said about 70 people have been either sickened by the odor , including nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, or noticed it. The smell is caused by small amounts of a chemical associated with the treatment of wooden pallets, Johnson & Johnson said. The FDA said the chemical can

Haiti must prepare for more massive quakes: Scientists CHICAGO: Haiti and its neighbors must prepare themselves for more massive quakes after the devastating tremors this week increased pressure along a lengthy fault line, scientists warned Friday. Paul Mann, a senior research scientist at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin, warned that just because the rebuilding process had started people shouldn’t assume the risk was over. “This relief of stress along this area near Port-au-Prince may have actually increased stress in the adjacent segments on the fault,” he told AFP. Researchers have already begun to work on models to try to predict how the stress changes resulting from the 7.0-magnitude quake which struck Tuesday is affecting the adjacent segments of the fault. “This fault system is hundreds of kilometers long and the segment that ruptured to form this ear quake is only 80 kilometers long,” Mann said in a telephone interview. “There are many more segments which are building up strain where there haven’t been earthquakes for hundreds of years. “Potentially any one of these segments could cause an earthquake similar to that which happened in Haiti.” There are, thankfully, only two major population centers along the fault: Port-auPrince and Kingston, Jamaica. But as demonstrated in the chaos which followed Tuesday’s tremor, the impact of a quake of that magnitude can be “paralyzing,” Mann said. Adding to the danger is the fact that the segment which broke was not among those closest to Port-auPrince. And there is a second fault system in the north of Haiti which extends to the Dominican Republic which has not ruptured in 800 years and has built up sufficient pressure for a 7.5 magnitude quake. “The question is when are those going to rupture,” Mann said, adding that it is

very difficult to predict “whether or not that’s going to happen next week or 100 years.” Eric Calais, a French geophysicist who works at Purdue University in Indiana, is among those trying to assess the danger. He had warned Haitian officials years ago of dangerous pressure in the fault which caused this week’s devastating quake, but little could be done to reinforce the desperately poor nation’s weak buildings. “The Haitian government is not to blame in this,” Calais told AFP. “They listened to us carefully and they knew what the hazard was. They were very concerned about it and they were taking steps. But it just happened too early.” Calais began researching the fault line in 2003 and soon took his initial findings to the Haitian government, even meeting with the prime minister. In March 2008 he and Mann presented a paper showing that the fault had built up sufficient pressure to cause a 7.2 magnitude quake. But they could not pinpoint when the quake might strike and the government was occupied with recovering from a series of four hurricanes which struck that year. While the government had begun work on an emergency response plan, little could be done to retrofit and strengthen key buildings such as hospitals, schools and government buildings from which rescue operations could be organized. “It’s a poor country,” Calais said. “Strengthening a building to resist a large earthquake can be as costly as replacing the building.” The devastation will allow Haiti to rebuild stronger than before, Calais said, noting that there are relatively cheap engineering solutions that can be applied to ensure that new buildings will not collapse in the next quake. “It’s very important for Portau-Prince to rebuild properly,” he added. “There are other segments of that fault that could rupture in the future.”— AFP

leach into the air, and traced it to a facility in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. The New Brunswick, NJ, company said it is investigating the issue and will stop shipping products with the same materials on wooden pallets. It has asked suppliers to do so as well. The FDA said McNeil knew of the problem in early 2008 but made only a limited investigation. “McNeil should have acted faster,” said Deborah Autor, the director of the FDA’s Office of Compliance of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “When something smells bad, literally or figuratively, companies must aggressively investigate and take all necessary action to solve the problem.” The FDA sent McNeil a warning letter for violating manufacturing standards and failing to report and investigate the problem in a timely way, Autor said. Johnson & Johnson has 15 days to respond. The FDA says it wants an explanation as to why the problem was not made public sooner. In November, McNeil recalled some Tylenol Arthritis Caplets due to the smell. Almost three weeks ago, the company expanded its recall to include more batches of Tylenol Arthritis Caplets. There have been no reports of nausea related to the most recent recall, the company said. McNeil, however, said the expanded recall includes product lots that could be affected by the same problems of nausea. The company said it is working with the FDA. — AP

FLORIDA: In this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau shows Richie Moretti (L), and Ryan Butts, use a doppler Friday, to check the heartbeat on one of many sea turtles recovering at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida. — AFP

Canadian safe-injection site to remain open BRITISH COLUMBIA: British Columbia’s top court on Friday rejected an attempt by the Canadian government to close North America’s first safe injection site for drug users. The site, where people can inject illegal drugs with clean needles under a nurse’s supervision, has operated since 2003 under a temporary exemption. It was opened as part of a harm-reduction plan to tackle an epidemic of HIV-AIDS and drug overdose deaths. The exemption was scheduled to end in 2008, but a trial court allowed it to remain open. The Conservative government appealed Justice Ian Pitfield’s ruling last year that allowed Insite, as the site is known, a constitutional exemption from Canadian drug laws. In the May 2008 ruling, Pitfield said Insite, operated by the Portland Hotel Society in conjunction with the Vancouver

Coastal Health Authority , provided important health care resources to addicts. The British Columbia Court of Appeal rejected the federal government’s bid to overturn the lower court’s ruling that said Insite provided a needed medical service. The three-member appeals court panel, which was split in its ruling, said Insite is a health facility and falls under provincial and not federal Canadian jurisdiction. “Like palliative care, it is a form of harm reduction with benefits for both the patient and the community,” said Justice Carol Huddart in the split decision. “The lure of safe injection gets those addicts into Insite so health care may be delivered.” David Thomas, a spokesman for Health Canada, said that while the federal government respects the court’s decision, it is disappointed with the outcome. Thomas said the government is

reviewing the decision carefully. He did not indicate whether the government planned to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. “Until this review is complete, it would be inappropriate to speculate on future action on the part of the Government of Canada,” said Thomas. Insite spokesman Mark Townsend said the ruling means “chronic addiction is not a death sentence.” Insite sits in the middle of Vancouver’s notoriously squalid Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood riddled with addicts, prostitutes and people carrying conditions such as HIV-AIDS and hepatitis C. Insite opened in September 2003 under the approval of the former federal Liberal Party government. That approval made it exempt from drug possession and trafficking laws. Dr Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-

AIDS, said the decision sends a clear message that Prime Minister Stephen Harper should abandon “his draconian, ideologically motivated public health policy-making.” Montaner, who is also president of the International AIDS Society, said he has had discussions with officials in Montreal, Toronto, Victoria, BC, and San Francisco about opening clinics modeled after Insite. “There is tremendous interest in a number of cities around the world based on the fact that not only have we piloted this initiative but the supervised injection site is the best studied in the world,” he said. Insite supervises about 500 injections a day. Addicts shoot up at 12 booths with mirrors on the walls so nurses on a raised platform can see them. There have been about 1,200 overdoes since Insite opened. No one has died. — AP

in the news

VICTORIA: In a handout picture released by Melbourne Zoo yesterday a zoo keeper inspects a female baby elephant delivered by the zoo’s Asian elephant Dokkoon, the first baby elephant born in the zoo’s 147year history. — AFP

Bipolar diagnosis jumps in young children: Study BOSTON: The number of children aged 2 to 5 who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs has doubled over the past decade, according to research released on Friday. The research suggests that while it is still rare to prescribe powerful psychiatric drugs to 2-year-olds, the practice is becoming more frequent.

way can help reduce your risk of stomach cancer, a large study from Europe shows. “The results add to the evidence for the role of the Mediterranean diet in reducing cancer risk and add further support for the need to continue to promote the Mediterranean diet in areas where it is disappearing,” Dr Carlos A. Gonzalez of the Catalan Institute for Oncology in Barcelona and his colleagues say.

US taking closer look at bisphenol A in plastics WASHINGTON : The United States will launch broad new research into the potential health effects of plastics chemical bisphenol A used in baby bottles and other products, health officials said on Friday. Bisphenol A has been used for decades to harden plastics and turns up in many food and beverage containers including some baby bottles and the linings of food containers. Studies by British scientists have linked BPA to heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.

Up to 80 million Americans infected with H1N1: CDC WASHINGTON: As many as 80 million Americans have been infected with H1N1 swine flu, up to 16,000 have been killed and more than 360,000 hospitalized, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. But 90 percent of the most vulnerable people remain unvaccinated, with only about 61 million Americans having received shots, the CDC said.

Mediterranean diet protects against stomach cancer NEW YORK : Eating the Mediterranean

Gene map for malaria crop offers higher yield hope LONDON: The first genetic map of a medicinal herb used in the best malar-

ia treatments is being published to help scientists develop the species into a high-yielding crop and battle the killer mosquito-borne disease. British plant researchers said the Artemisia annua gene code will enable scientists to select the best-performing young plants by genetics and use them as parent plants for breeding experiments without needing to take the more time-consuming approach of genetic modification (GM). Exercise protects and improves the aging brain NEW YORK: Two new studies provide more evidence that regular aerobic exercise not only staves off the problems with thinking and memory that often come with age, but it can actually help turn back the clock on brain aging. In one study, researchers found evidence that engaging in moderate physical activity such as brisk walking, swimming, or yoga in midlife or later may cut the risk of developing mild thinking problems. —Reuters


WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Embassy information EMBASSY OF GREECE The Embassy of Greece has the pleasure to announce that with a view to promote business interaction and commercial relations between Greece and Kuwait and to present further support for the Kuwaiti importers, it requests all Kuwaiti Companies dealing with or representing Greek Companies in Kuwait to contact this Embassy as soon as possible and to provide by fax or e-mail the following information: (Name of the company, tel no, fax no, e-mail, type of business, name of the Greek companies/clients). The Embassy’s contacts are as follows: email: gremb.kuw@mfa.gr; fax: 24817103, and tel no: 24817100, 24817101, 24817102. EMBASSY OF INDIA

Kuwait English School visits zoo uwait English School Reception children enjoyed a very exciting visit to Kuwait Zoo on Thursday morning, arriving just as the animals were being fed. Miss Wykes said “We enjoyed seeing all the different patterns on the animals skin”. “I like the zebra because it has black and white”, said Sarah in RH. Zainah, and Basma all agreed. Faris,also in RH, said he liked the hippo’s big body. Laya said the crocodile opened his mouth. “I see him swimming” she said wide eyed with glee. “I love all deers because they are spotty” said Jung Ho in RM. Shakker in RM

K

said he liked zebras “because they are like the horse”. Jung Min said he liked the baby monkey’s cheeks. Sheikha in RM said she liked the giraffe’s long neck. “I liked the lions because they were eating their food, said Dominic in RM. Ahmed in RM said his favourites were the cheetahs. “It ran really fast”, Bader agreed. “I love the cheetah because they very nice” said Mariam in RW. Fahad in RW said he liked the snakes: “remember the big one. I like it because it’s nice. Because it’s very big!”. “My kids were extrememly interested in the animals. The animals performed for

us this year”, said Miss Weeks, recalling how the bears chased and played together. Mohammed in RW said he liked the crocodile “because he likes to swim in the water”. “I like the sheep because they smell nice” said Hossam. Mrs Huneidi said “The children enjoyed being out in the sunshine all day”. They all took a packed lunch to eat a picnic together. Rawabi said she liked the giraffe and Alia liked the brown bear. Abdullah in RJ said the chimpanzee was eating a carrot. “I like the lions because they have hair” said Sami in RR. Vinney was looking

at the tigers. “They are my favourite”, he said. “I love the elephants”, said Khaled. “I like the head because he has a trunk”. “I like the monkey because her head and her tail and her tummy” said Parmida. Before heading back to school, Mrs Richmond’s children had fun feeding bread to the goats, although Yousef fed himself! “In my home I have three baby goats and the mother is dead” said Talal in RB. Abdulwahab watched as the zoo keepers fed pellets and lettuce to the deer. “They are fighting on the leaves because they want to eat”, he said. “They are very hungry”, said Ali.

Mrs Barry said “my favourite thing were the swans and the cygnets. They were very fluffy cygnets, they were so cute”. The ostrich had just laid some giant sized eggs. Mrs Barry pointed out the fuzzy feathers on the ostrich’s head. “He has got two huge toes. He can run so so fast”, she said. Mrs Barry said “We were very excited to see the cheetah was walking about, and a bit sad the tiger was sleeping”. Today the children will look at their photos, and some video clips by Mrs Barry and then write about their visit to Kuwait Zoo.

‘We are close to you... you are in the heart’ he above message sent by Sahara Kuwait Golf Resort to its members and guests. The General Manager, Hassan Bayerli, said that the team of the resort is committed to provide their services and products in accordance to the Standard Operating procedures, aiming to achieve the set quality objectives. Bayerli stated that our definition for hospitality is that we exceed the expectations on the satisfaction level which our guests are looking forward to whenever they are present at Sahara Kuwait Golf Resort. More importantly, we provide our guests the privacy, comfort and leisure while they are with us, in all over our premises whether in the Golf Course, in the Sahara Academy for golf skills learnHassan Bayerli ing, in the Fitness Center Health Club and Spa, or in the Restaurants, the multipurpose Ballrooms, or in the luxurious Villas which the guests can view the marvelous green golf course and lakes when they are staying in the Villas.

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Free medical camp hmadi St. Thomas Indian Orthodox church conducted free medical camp on Friday, 15th of Jan, 2010. The medical camp was a part of the year long celebrations on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Church. The Camp was inaugurated by HE Ajai Malhotra, the Ambassador of India to Kuwait at the India International School, Managaf in the presence of Dr

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Jaganathan, Secretary of Indian Doctors Forum, Vicar Fr Abraham P George, Moosakoya, Director of India International School, dignitaries from various walks of life, church officials and members of the parish. Dr. Sunny Joseph Varghese welcomed the gathering and Dr. Varghese Zachariah gave the vote of thanks. The camp was organized under the leadership

and guidance of Indian Doctors Forum (IDF) and was lead by almost 50 Indian specialized doctors, in various fields of specialization such as General Medicine, Cardiology, Nephrology, ENT, Ophthalmology, Gynecology, Orthopedics, Urology, Neurology, etc. IDF had also provided on-site facilities for checking cholesterol The camp operated from 08.00 AM till 01.00 PM,

benefited over 600 patients, of various nationalities, majority of them bachelors living in camps and was well supported by the service oriented nursing staff and others from within and outside the parish. The conveners of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, P C Samuel,and E. A. Abraham, along with the IDF officials and church officials given effective leadership in the conduct of the whole event.

The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will start on 10 April 2010 and will continue uninterrupted until 10 May 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote. EMBASSY OF SOUTH AFRICA The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa’s working hours till Thursday, 31st December 2009 will be from 8 am to 10 am. Please note that the Embassy will be closed on Sunday, 3rd January 2010 on the occasion of the New Year. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Monday, 4th January 2010, from Sunday to Thursday. Please note that the working hours will be from 8 am to 16h00 & the Consular section operation hours will be from 8h30 to 12h30.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20


31

WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nandamuri Fans Association honor film star Murali Mohan

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ulf Wide Nandamuri Fans Association felicitated Andhra Pradesh Movie Artists Association President and famous film hero Murali Mohan yesterday. He attended the

Baskin Robbins Shamiya first store in Home delivery all over the world uwait food company (Americana) Stare Home delivery service in Baskin Robbins stores in Kuwait. Kuwait is a first country to Launch home delivery service all over in World.Baskin sites that spread in more than fifty countries all over the world. Americana providing home delivery service in most of his branches for serving most areas in Kuwait .this service provide to our valuable customers In Khaldiya-Adiyliadayia-Meshref-fahahil-QuarinSalmiya-Gabriya-farwaniaSalwa-Fantas -Fahd el Ahmed-Shamiya outlet first site all over the world offer this service. Baskin Robbins achieve more success since joined to Americana group in Kuwait and Middle East and develop ice cream product till arrived to more than 31 flavor and mixed to be more suitable for our customer in Kuwait. Some of this flavor like vanilla-Orange-CoconutChocolate-Mango-Lemon-

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Strawberry-Praline and others. Baskin Robbins in Kuwait provides Also wide range of variety from cakes by different sizes to Celebrate with our Customers with every event or ceremony. Also offer Milk Shake by different flavor like Chocolate, Carmel, Coffee and Vanilla. Kuwait Food Company also first Baskin Robbins CafÈ in 2009 in Marina Mall to present more variety for Ice cream that mixed with fruits like banana and also presents hot drinks like Hot Chocolate, cappuccino and espresso. Baskin Robbins joined to Americana Group in 1986. Since this date be the Favorite taste in Gulf area.Baskin Robbins international established by Burton Baskin and Arvin Robbins and opened first store for selling Ice Cream in California 1947. And arrived now to more than 5600 sites spread in more than 50 countries all over the world and visit our sites more than 300 Million customer annually.

“Makara Sankranti Utsavaalu” function organized by Telugu Kala Samithi at Cambridge School in Mangaf where he was honored by his fans in a grand manner. Telugu Kala Samithi

President Hari Prasad, Gulf Wide Nandamuri Fans Association office-bearers Darla Srinivasa Achari, Midamalli Srinivas, Vegi Venkatesh Naidu, Polavarapu Babu Naidu, Daruri Balaram

Naidu, Pidikiti Srinivas Chodary, Polineni Santaram Naidu, Oleti Divakar Naidu, Malepati Suresh Babu, A.Uday Prakash and Kotturi Eswarachari participated in this event.

Joyalukkas opens latest showroom in Vellore anuary 10, saw the inauguration of yet another scintillating Joyalukkas showroom on Officer S Line in Vellore. The new showroom, which joins the ranks of the 75 other showrooms that the ISO certified jewelry chain has in eight countries around the world, was inaugurated by lighting the ceremonial lamp by Hon. Duraj Murugan, MABL - Minister of Law, Tamil Nadu in the presence of Joyalukkas Brand Ambassador, R Madhavan, other VIP guests and dignitaries. The unique patterns and styles that have captured the hearts of customers across the world and won international accolades from renowned bodies has over the years cemented Joyalukkas’s reputation and competence in the jewelry business. The new showroom, which displays traditional, chic and contemporary designs from all over the world, including the ever popular in-house jewelry brands like Sparx, Tre’stelle, Perfekt, Spring, Florentina, Resham, Trisha, Aamira, Madhubani, Teen Twenties and Zenina, and a host of platinum, silver and other precious stone jewelry collections, is intended to provide an exceptional shopping experience to discerning shoppers in Vellore. Speaking about the new showroom, Mr.Joy Alukkas, Chairman of

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Joyalukkas Group, said, “We are targeting the quality, tradition and design conscious woman of Vellore who demand excellence and broad choice from a wide range of traditional, chic and contemporary jewelry.

SWAK to celebrates Shirva Parish feast

The Joyalukkas standard of product, price, choice and service is guaranteed to customers to our new showroom. Our vision is to make jewelry shopping more convenient and, in line with this, we intend to soon have a

presence in every catchment area within Tamil Nadu.” With over five decades of experience in jewelry retailing, manufacturing and exports, we are sure that our distinctive designs, quality and ser-

vice will be welcomed by the residents of Vellore, the chairman added. Speaking at the inauguration, R Madhavan, the brand ambassador for Joyalukkas said, “I feel proud to be associated with a brand of Joyalukkas’s stature because it stands for trust, value, choice and exceptional service. With Joyalukkas you can rest assured that you will be dealing with a jewelry chain that truly understands your needs and has the international experience to introduce you to jewelry trends around the world.” Globally Joyalukkas has set a benchmark for quality, service and choice and is one of the most trusted jewelry retailers in the world. This gold standard in excellence is repeated in all the products available at the Officer S Line showroom, which is consistent in design with the rest of the Joyalukkas showrooms offering exclusivity and a welcoming feel. The showroom is conveniently positioned within the city to ensure ease of access for customers. Joyalukkas Group, which diversified and expanded its offerings and geographical reach to operate subsidiaries in India, GCC and London and has over 3000 employees worldwide, intends to follow the Officer S Line inauguration with more showroom openings across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala during the rest of 2010.

KMCC Abbassiya Integrated School unit office bearers

hirva Welfare Association Kuwait (SWAK) will be celebrating their Shirva Parish feast 2010 here in Kuwait. On this occasion there will be a mass offered at 3.30p.m on of February 2010 at the Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait and the celebration / get-together with a of variety entertainment will be held from 4 pm - 9 pm on the 12th of February 2010 at the Indian Central School, Abbassia. Members and families are requested to contact any of the SWAK committee members listed below to avail their entry passes. On the other hand if any of the SWAK members or their children would like to participate in the variety entertainment programme and show their talent, may please contact SWAK cultural secretary Alban D’souza: 25661714 / 97948146. Last date for enrollment in the talent show is 31 St January 2010.

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Adrian Gomes: 24757395 / 99695644 AlbanD’souza: 25661714/97948146 Alexander Fernandis: 99066754 Anil Menezes: 25658101 / 99849332 Paul Aranha: 24762215/24873663/97224812 Urban D’souza: 24731968 / 97322429

Seminar on pediatrics health

Announcement

he Institution of Engineers (India) Kuwait Chapter’s has arranged a seminar on “Pediatric Scientific Explanation of Common Disorders and Treatments” Jointly presented by a panel of eminent Child Specialists consisting of 1. Dr. V. Satya Narayan, 2.Dr. Bhaskar Gupta, 3. Dr. N. Ram, 4. Dr. Gaurav Jadon.

T MARCH 26 CRYcket 2010: the 13th annual crycket tournament is scheduled to be held on Friday, 26th March 2010 at the KOC Hockey Grounds, Ahmadi. This tournament is organized by FOCC (Friends of Cry Club). Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) is associated with CRY (Child Rights and You), India and its main objectives are to create awareness of the underprivileged Indian children, help restore their basic rights, strive to provide support in personal development of the Indian children in Kuwait and bring out the qualities of social commitment in them. FOCC has been organizing CRY awareness programmes for children through its two annual events - CRYcket (Cricket match for children below 14 years organized annually since 1997) and CRY chess tournament (for children of all ages organized annually since 2005) - and ‘Brain Bang’ programme which is an ongoing bi-weekly Accelerated Learning activity. CRYcket will be played by 24 teams of children and about 500 spectators are expected for this special one-day event. The deadline to receive the registration forms is 18th March 2010, however registration may be close earlier if the available slots of 12 teams in each category are filled. A colourful souvenir will be released to mark the 13th year of FOCC’s activities in Kuwait. For details how to become a sponsor and/or to advertise in the Souvenir or to volunteer as a FOCC member, pls visit www.focckwt.org or email focckwt@yahoo.com

The Topics of the Seminar as follows: 1. Childhood Asthma by Dr. V. Satya Narayan. 2. Adolescent Problems by Dr. Bhaskar Gupta. 3. Convulsions in Children by Dr. N. Ram. 4. Prevention of Childhood Accidents by Dr. Gaurav Jadon.

Seminar Date & Time: 22.01.2010, Friday, 10:30 A.M to 1:00 P.M. Seminar Venue: Holiday Inn, Downtown (at Daheya Ballroom, 4th Floor) This seminar is for the Family (Children of age 6 and above are only allowed).Lunch will be served at the end of the Program. Those who are interested to attend the seminar are requested to register their names by 16.01.2010 through email vptiwari55@hotmail.com with the Details of Name of the IEI Member, Name of the Spouse, Name of the Children, Contact Nos. For further clarification kindly contact Engr. V.P.Tewari (Mob.: 99560784).

Education exhibition epresentatives from 45 universities, colleges and English language schools from all 4 countries of the UK will be present. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Farwaniya on Wednesday 20 January 2010 from 17:00 - 21:00 and Thursday 21 January 2010: 09:00 - 12:30 & 17:00-21:00. They will answer enquiries and provide information on suitable courses, entry requirements and details about studying and living in the UK, including information on course content, living conditions, costs, welfare arrangements and much more. It will also be possible to find out more about the visa application process.

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Kollam M P Peethambara Kurup arrived at Kuwait and welcomed by Congress leaders. In photo Jacob Channepeetta, M A Hilal, Varghees Puthukulangar, Joy Karavaloor, Manoj Mathew, Abdulla Trikaripur also some other congress leaders.


INFORMATION

32

Sunday, January 17, 2010 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 777 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada始a 22545171 Al-Shuwaikh 24810598 Al-Nuzha 22545171 Sabhan 24742838 Al-Helaly 22434853 Al-Fayhaa 22545051 Al-Farwaniya 24711433 Al-Sulaibikhat 24316983 Al-Fahaheel 23927002 Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh 24316983 Ahmadi 23980088 Al-Mangaf 23711183 Al-Shuaiba 23262845 Al-Jahra 25610011 Al-Salmiya 25616368

Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw

For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 HOSPITALS Sabah Hospital

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha始a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 AIRLINES

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

ADDRESS Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554

EMERGENCY 112

PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea Dr. Masoma Habeeb Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy Dr. Mohsen Abel Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT): Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners: Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists: Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

(1) Ear, Nose and Throat Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan 22655539 Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 General Surgeons: Dr. Abidallah Behbahani 25717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed 25340300

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290

(2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

Neurologists:

Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan

Internists, Chest & Heart: Dr. Adnan Ebil 22639939 Dr. Mousa Khadada 22666300 Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan 25728004 Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra 25355515 Dr. Mobarak Aldoub 24726446 Dr Nasser Behbehani 25654300/3

Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees 22666288

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali

22633135

Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines

22433377 24379900 177 22477631 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/2433141 22456700 22412284/5 22453820/1

INTERNATIONAL CALLS Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK)

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044

Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Holland (Netherlands) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Ibiza (Spain) Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia

00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 00241 00220 00995 0049 00233 00350 0030 00299 001473 00590 001671 00502 00224 00592 00509 0031 00504 00852 0036 0034 00354 0091 00873 0062 0098 00964 00353 0039 00225 001876 0081 00962 007 00254 00686 00965 00996 00856 00371 00961 00231 00218 00370 00352 00853 00389


Sunday, January 17, 2010

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ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for family or bachelor, central A/C building, bathroom attached near Garden store, Abbassiya. Contact: 65662085, 66274078. (C 20208) One room furnished available near Indian Central school Abbassiya for decent bachelor or small family from 25th January, Indians only, reasonable rent. Contact: 99764178. (C 20107) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya near German clinic for decent bachelors (non smoking and non alcoholic) with a Keralite bachelor C-A/C new building, rent KD 45. Tel: 94942964. (C 20206) Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C building for a small Keralite family in Abbassiya adjacent to Integrated Indian school and Bharathiya Vidhyabhavan from February 1st. Contact: 97846304 (24346984 after 6 pm). (C 20213) One central AC room available in Farwaniya for sharing bachelor accommodation for non-smoking two or three Keralite bachelors preferred, from 1st February 2010, behind Crowne Plaza. Contact: 99189630, 97997193. (C 20210) 17-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya decent Keralite couple only, Jan 21st or Feb 1st, double bedroom flat rent KD 80. Contact: 97142939, 99263083. (C 20197)

One room with separate bathroom available in old Riggae, closer to Avenues, near Future Pharmacy in a new C-A/C 2 bedroom 2 bathroom flat for family or working ladies. Contact: 55114836, 67656901. (C 20201) 16-1-2010

99815378. (C 20185)

Sharing rooms with bath, CA/C available in Salmiya and Maidan Hawally, single or couple. Call 97151921. (C 20194)

Sharing accommodation available for Hindu or Christian bachelor share with another bachelor with Keralite family in Abbassiya near Integrated school central A/C 2 bedroom kitchen facility available. Contact: 66172468. (C 20179)

Sharing accommodation available for two decent bachelors (preferably Keralite) near senior Indian Community School, Salmiya. Contact: 66780615 after 2 pm. (C 20192) Deluxe furnished room accommodation for one decent Pakistani or Indian bachelor, near garden Salmiya, in a very pleasant neat peaceful environment, rent KD 90. Contact: 66639581. (C 20191) Sharing accommodation available in Jabriya Block 12, St 8, for a lady or gent in a C-A/C, 3 BR flat with 2 bathrooms. Contact: 65135094. (C 20190) 14-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available for couple/ executive bachelor/ working lady in C-A/C flat big room in Salwa street no. 1, block no. 4 with south Indian family, DSL wireless internet available, rent KD 75. Contact: 66492509. (C 20188) Sharing accommodation available in Salmiya near church central A/C building, separate room, for bachelors/ couple/ ladies. Contact:

Sharing accommodation available for Goan or Mangalorean small family or bachelors share with a small family two bedroom flat window A/C near Rashid hospital Shara Amman Salmiya. Contact: 94969047. (C 20178)

Sharing accommodation available for Goan or Mangalorean small family or two non smoking bachelors share with a small Mangalorean family C-A/C flat near Rashid hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. Contact: 97528430. (C 20177) One room available for working ladies or family in Maidan Hawally central A/C new building, opposite Maroosh restaurant and Bushari, from 25-1-2010. Contact: 55216554. (C 20154)

FOR SALE Mitsubishi Pajero 2000 model, (V6) very good condition, golden color, KD 1650. Phone: 99951793, 66605926. (C 20204) 17-1-2010 Sony TV, Electric oven, boiler/ Coffee maker and dishwasher for sale. Please call 97850290. Pejot Pointer delivery van,

2008 model, KD 1,350. Phone: 66052331. (C 20199) Jeep Ford Escape, model 2001, color yellow, four doors, 6 cylinders, very good condition with original paint, 200,191 km, price KD 1,250 fixed. Phone: 97786744/ 66804825. (C 20200) Prado 4 cylinder, model 2007, full option, Al Sayer maintained all five tyres new. Price KD 5,750, negotiable. Contact: 66050484. (C 20202) 16-1-2010 Mitsubishi Lancer 2007, run 50,000 km only, silver metallic, one hand used - manager. KD 2000 only (Al Mulla maintained). Contact: 66601607. (C 20193) Brand new Blackberry Bold 9000 unopened original packing. Call 66781734. (C 20189) Multimedia projector, brand Polaroid, in good condition, price KD 50. Call 99322585. (C 20195) 14-1-2010 Jeep Suzuki Grand Vitara 2007, 2 door, manual gear, blue color, cruise control, CD, 37 km, perfect condition, agency warranty. KD 2,600. Contact: 99881982 . (C 20184) Mitsubishi Gallant, model 2008, silver color, 72,000 km, 6 cylinders, options, excellent condition, price KD 2,950. Contact: 66026259/ 55273700. (C 20181) Laptop Toshiba Satellite 2.0Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB, 250 GB, DVD writer, 15.6 crystal screen, wireless, webcam, windows 7 with 1 year warranty. Call: 22473767. (C 20182)

Household sofa set 3+2+1+1, center table + 2 side tables, dining table with 6 chairs, carpets, and Miscellaneous items. Call: 66422986, 97877993, 66026707. (C 20183) Pentium 4, Intel, 40GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD Writer, 56 modem, speakers, 17� CRT monitor, KD 40. Pentium 4, 3.0 Ghz, 160 GB HDD, 1 GBDDR2 RAM, DVD Combo with 17� LG CRT Flatron monitor KD 60. Contact: 66244192. (C 20186) 13-1-2010

MATRIMONIAL Syrian Catholic parents in Kuwait invite marriage proposals for their son, B.Tech, 29/177, employed in Kuwait. Contact:jmj8002@gmail.com (C 20209)

parents invite proposals from girls for their son 29/176cms fair, good looking well employed telecom engineer working in Kuwait. Email: varughesekurian@hotmail.co m (C 20155) 14-1-2010

SITUATION WANTED Looking for a part time

Proposals invited for Keralite Orthodox boy 27/180/BE, working MNC Banglore from professionally qualified girls. Contact email: anish_relish@rediffmail.com (C 20211)

house maid job, experience in cooking, cleaning also new born baby massage. Call 66367806. (C 20203) Looking for a suitable job as an accountant, qualification is M.Com, have nine years experience in Dubai, well versed in preparation of trial balance profit & loss A/C and balance sheet.

Please contact: 94942964. (C 20205) 17-1-2010

SITUATION VACANT

Wanted part/full time maid for Indian family in Riggae, preferably Goan. Contact: 99694619. (C 20156) 13-1-2010

No: 14612

Proposals invited for Keralite Orthodox boy financially sound, 26/180 MBA, bank employee in Kuwait, girls employed in Kuwait preferred. Email: devson555@gmail.com 17-1-2010 Proposals invited for Keralite RCSC girl, 27/158cm, B.Sc MLT, working with MoH Kuwait as lab technologist, from professionally qualified RC boys working in Kuwait. Contact email: geocee999@gmail.com (C 20196) Malayalee Christian Orthodox

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Sunday 17/01/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0263 Beirut K.L.M. 0447 Amsterdam/Bahrain Jet A/W 574 Cochin Wataniya Airways 2103 Beirut Kalitta 537 Sharjah Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa Turkish A/L 1172 Istanbul D.H.L. 370 Bahrain Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 0305 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 0267 Beirut Qatari 0138 Doha Kuwait 802 Cairo Jazeera 0637 Aleppo Jazeera 0269 Beirut Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 0503 Luxor Jazeera 0527 Alexandria Jazeera 0529 Assiut British 0157 London Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Jazeera 0161 Dubai Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Kuwait 344 Chennai Kuwait 676 Dubai Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 0121 Sharjah Qatari 0132 Doha Iran Air 605 Isfahan Etihad 0301 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1121 Bahrain Jazeera 0447 Doha Kuwait 204 Lahore Jazeera 0165 Dubai Jazeera 0425 Bahrain Jazeera 0113 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 1021 Dubai Kuwait 772 Riyadh Egypt Air 610 Cairo Syrian Arab A/L 341 Damascus Jazeera 0171 Dubai Kuwait 672 Dubai Wataniya Airways 2301 Damascus Egypt Air 621 Assiut Nas Air 745 Jeddah Jazeera 0525 Alexandria Jazeera 0257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 2001 Cairo Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Kuwait 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi Kuwait 562 Amman Kuwait 552 Damascus Jazeera 0457 Damascus Qatari 0134 Doha Kuwait 284 Dhaka

Time 00:05 00:10 00:40 00:50 01:00 01:05 01:45 02:15 02:15 02:35 03:00 03:10 03:25 04:45 05:05 05:10 05:25 05:35 06:10 06:30 06:40 06:45 07:45 07:55 08:05 08:10 08:20 08:30 08:55 09:00 09:15 09:35 10:45 10:45 11:00 11:05 11:05 11:10 11:20 11:20 12:40 12:55 13:00 13:05 13:25 13:35 13:55 14:00 14:05 14:10 14:20 14:30 14:30 14:35 14:40 14:45 15:00 15:10

Kuwait Royal Jordanian Jazeera Mihin Lanka Bahrain Air Emirates Kuwait Gulf Air Etihad Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Jazeera Thai Wataniya Airways Sri Lankan United A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways D.H.L. Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Iran Air Kuwait Kuwait Singapore A/L Kuwait Jet A/W Wataniya Airways Oman Air Egypt Air Jazeera Jazeera Gulf Air Middle East Qatari Emirates K.L.M. Kuwait Indian Jazeera Jazeera Safi A/W Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Egypt Air India Express Lufthansa Bangladesh Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Pakistan

546 800 0173 403 344 857 118 215 0303 510 0493 0125 0217 0433 519 2101 227 982 0427 2003 473 1025 542 0177 674 174 786 614 617 774 104 458 618 572 1201 0647 618 0459 0343 217 402 0136 859 0445 502 981 0449 0429 215 0117 0185 612 606 389 636 043 1029 1129 205

Alexandria Amman Dubai Colombo/Dubai Bahrain Dubai New York Bahrain Abu Dhabi Riyadh Jeddah Sharjah Isfahan Mashad Bangkok Beirut Colombo/Dubai Washington DC Dulles Bahrain Cairo Baghdad Dubai Cairo Dubai Dubai Geneva/Frankfurt Jeddah Bahrain Ahwaz Riyadh London Singapore/Abu Dhabi Doha Mumbai Jeddah Muscat Alexandria Damascus Sanaa/Bahrain Bahrain Beirut Doha Dubai Amsterdam Beirut Chennai/Ahmedabad Doha Dubai/Bahrain Kabul Abu Dhabi Dubai Cairo Luxor Kozhikode/Mangalore Frankfurt Dhaka Dubai Bahrain Lahore

15:30 15:40 16:05 16:40 16:50 16:55 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:15 17:30 17:40 17:40 17:45 17:45 17:50 18:05 18:15 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:50 18:55 18:55 19:00 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:45 20:00 20:05 20:15 20:20 20:35 20:40 20:55 21:05 21:20 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:05 22:10 22:15 22:15 22:25 22:40 22:45 23:00 23:15 23:30 23:40 23:45 23:55 23:55

Departure Flights on Sunday l7/01/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode United A/L 981 Washington DC Dulles Indian 516 Goa/Chennai Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Pakistan 216 Karachi Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt K.L.M. 0447 Amsterdam Jet A/W 573 Cochin Kuwait 203 Lahore Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Kuwait 283 Dhaka Turkish A/L 1173 Istanbul D.H.L. 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 0306 Abu Dhabi Kalitta 537 Kandahar Qatari 0139 Doha Jazeera 0164 Dubai Wataniya Airways 1020 Dubai Jazeera 0524 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 2000 Cairo Jazeera 0112 Abu Dhabi Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Jazeera 0446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1120 Bahrain Jazeera 0422 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 2300 Damascus Kuwait 545 Alexandria Jazeera 0256 Beirut British 0156 London Jazeera 0170 Dubai Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Kuwait 561 Amman Kuwait 771 Riyadh Jazeera 0456 Damascus Arabia 0122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 0133 Doha Iran Air 606 Mashad Etihad 0302 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 2002 Cairo Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Jazeera 0342 Bahrain/Sanaa Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 0172 Dubai Jazeera 0432 Mashad Wataniya Airways 2100 Beirut Jazeera 0492 Jeddah Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Syrian Arab A/L 342 Damascus Wataniya Airways 1024 Dubai

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

Time 00:05 00:15 00:30 00:40 00:50 01:00 01:10 01:20 01:25 01:40 02:20 02:30 02:55 03:15 03:15 03:50 04:10 05:00 05:00 07:00 07:00 07:20 07:30 07:35 07:40 07:40 07:45 07:50 07:55 08:10 08:30 08:35 08:55 09:00 09:00 09:10 09:15 09:20 09:25 09:35 09:35 09:40 10:00 10:15 10:20 11:30 11:40 11:45 11:50 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:05 12:15 13:40 13:55 14:00 14:25

Kuwait Jazeera Egypt Air Nas Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Kuwait Bahrain Air Mihin Lanka Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Arabia Jazeera Kuwait Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Thai Wataniya Airways Kuwait Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Jazeera Kuwait Iran Air Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jet A/W Oman Air Jazeera Egypt Air Singapore A/L Gulf Air D.H.L. Kuwait Middle East Falcon Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Emirates K.L.M. Kuwait Jazeera Egypt Air Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait

673 0216 622 746 0176 1200 0426 0458 505 501 773 613 801 0135 617 345 404 216 0304 858 0126 0262 543 511 0184 2010 0116 0448 0428 520 2102 285 228 1028 0532 361 616 351 1128 571 0648 0240 619 457 218 171 675 403 102 0188 0137 301 860 0445 205 0526 613 415 0502 411

Dubai Isfahan Assiut Jeddah Dubai Jeddah Bahrain Damascus Jeddah Beirut Riyadh Bahrain Amman Doha Doha Bahrain Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Beirut Cairo Riyadh Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Abu Dhabi Doha Bahrain/Dubai Bangkok Beirut Chittagong Dubai/Colombo Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Colombo Ahwaz Cochin Bahrain Mumbai Muscat Amman Alexandria Abu Dhabi/Singapore Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Beirut Bahrain Dubai Doha Mumbai Dubai Bahrain/Amsterdam Islamabad Alexandria Cairo Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Luxor Bangkok/Manila

14:30 14:35 14:50 14:55 15:05 15:10 15:25 15:30 16:00 16:10 16:10 16:20 16:25 16:30 16:15 17:35 17:40 17:55 18:00 18:10 18:20 18:25 18:30 18:30 18:35 18:40 18:40 18:50 19:00 19:05 19:05 19:10 19:15 19:30 19:50 20:20 20:25 20:55 21:00 21:10 21:20 21:25 21:35 21:45 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:20 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:50 22:55 22:55 23:25 23:45 23:45 23:50 23:55


SPECTRUM

34 CROSSWORD 872

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) You will be working on

ways to improve your professional skills now. Pay attention to what you are doing and you will be glad you did. Acting on impulse or instinct can lead to false starts—so count to ten before starting anything important. This is a time when you can put your businesslike ideas into words and convey them to others. Authority figures are paying attention to your communication skills. The way you handle yourself when someone needs advice is very important just now. The pursuit of success takes on a high priority. This is a successful day, with the realization that you have accomplished much, at work and in your life progress. There is a dreamy manner about you tonight and the young people in your home will enjoy your stories. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Ambition, practicality and

achievement are admirable, but they are means to an end—not ends in themselves. Enjoy and appreciate the experiences that come your way. Thomas Edison once said, “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” Others value your decision-making abilities and you will know how to proceed in matters concerning the public. Support and harmony are yours without asking. Any hot spots can be worked through by thinking before you act—patience will expel any arguments. You may want to check out the study of herbs—you have a natural tendency toward the medicinal and aromatic type of plants. The psychic realm is fascinating to you. You and a friend may decide to visit a psychic tonight.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A quantity of money. 4. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 8. A dark-skinned member of a race of people living in Australia when Europeans arrived. 11. A user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon. 12. Capital city of the Apulia region on the Adriatic coast. 13. The upper side of the thighs of a seated person. 14. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 16. (in golf) The standard number of strokes set for each hole on a golf course, or for the entire course. 17. The compass point that is one point east of due south. 18. (informal) Exceptionally good. 19. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 21. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 22. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 25. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 27. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 29. An associate degree in applied science. 31. Extremely pleasing. 34. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 37. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 39. Being one hundred more than two hundred. 40. A public promotion of some product or service. 41. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 44. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 48. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 50. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 52. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 53. An accountant certified by the state. 54. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 56. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 57. A doctor's degree in education. 58. A hazy or indistinct representation. DOWN 1. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 2. (Norse mythology) One of the Aesir known for his beauty and skill with bow and skis. 3. Any of various minerals consisting of hydrous silicates of aluminum or potassium etc. that crystallize in forms that allow perfect cleavage into very thin leaves. 4. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 5. A tight-fitting headdress. 6. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 7. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 8. Thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord. 9. A small cake leavened with yeast. 10. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 15. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 20. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 23. A light touch or stroke. 24. East Indian tree bearing a profusion of intense vermilion velvettextured blooms and yielding a yellow dye. 26. A master's degree in fine arts. 28. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 30. An enclosed space. 32. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 33. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 35. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 36. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 38. (Babylonian) A demigod or first man. 42. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 43. One of a set of small pieces of stiff paper marked in various ways and used for playing games or for telling fortunes. 45. A barrier consisting of a horizontal bar and supports. 46. An important seaport on the Island of Cebu in the Philippines. 47. Type genus of the Aceraceae. 49. A room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter. 51. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 55. A unit of magnetomotive force equal to 0.7958 ampere-turns.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You have a flair for presenting yourself in a positive and well-groomed manner—regardless of the stress you may be feeling at times. This first impression will serve you well in your communications with others. If you are feeling nervous and not quite up to a particular task—practice some of the breathing techniques that the yogi masters teach. If you do not know the techniques, you might consider taking a class or buying a book on the subject. This afternoon you are close to making a discovery that will help you to save your company many problems or financial responsibilities—keep your focus. You will be pleased by the results that your efforts bring forth. Working with your favorite hobby this evening will help you to relax.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You and your co-worker friends may seek answers to some long unanswered questions. Finding the answer to some of your questions will have you wondering where the time went. You meet your obligations automatically and display your flexible way of working your magic. You leave positive impressions with people. Your superiors are very happy with your work and your co-workers appreciate working with you. Your money problems could find some relief today. Dive into some form of art expression this afternoon—you will find this a great stress valve. The more you enjoy your creative side the more you will come to know your spiritual side. This evening is a great time to just sit back and enjoy what you have. Romance is possible. Leo (July 23-August 22) Today and tomorrow present opportunities to make extra money. This second job may eventually become your priority job. A conventional economic approach is the best way to start your family’s income plan. You are motivated to use your creative mind today as you hear comments and are caught up in the passion of inventions, technology and creative expression as well. You may feel a sense of urgency in some of the projects that are presented to you. This afternoon you confirm appointments and schedule your time for the next few days. You may find that your job, or the motivation it creates, is more enjoyable than usual. Conversations with siblings could be confusing this evening. You might enjoy playing word games tonight.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Pension, insurance, health or profit-sharing plans may come to your attention. You will have an opportunity to join or reject these plans and review these options. Do not ignore this responsibility; times . . . they are changing! Do not be afraid to ask questions. You can expect a little boost and extra support from the people around you. You delight in creating a peaceful home life and this afternoon you may have decided on a picture or colorful area rug to add a conversation piece to some particular area. You will be teaching young people to practice telling the truth and to respect people that exhibit this strength. Leave the emotions out of a personal discussion for now—go with the facts. Music seems to be the magical balance for the evening.

Libra (September 23-October 22) This is one of your better days for money. You are able to find successful ways to increase your income. Stay on the job and do not plan any trips, if possible, until later this month. As you introduce ideas of moneymaking to others, you will benefit as well. This could be through advising others toward their professional goals, investments, real estate, etc. If you are in real-estate or if you want to sell your home, or perhaps a car, you will find a nibble becomes a commitment. Balance your social and business affairs so that your energies are not depleted. Neighbors or siblings have a big impact on your goals and make a big impression. If work has not been too exhausting today, this evening could be a wonderful time to interact with friends.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your workload

increases today—your efforts show a successful outcome. You will learn secrets to having success throughout this year and today holds one of the hints. Listen and absorb the happenings around you—you will have some insight of your own. People come to you for ideas, story lines or perhaps approval. It could be that you are involved with some form of editing or teaching. A health problem that has been bothering you for some time may now begin to heal. This evening, family members make it known that you are a very important part of their lives by including you in some activity or asking for your help in certain areas of expertise. Generally, good feelings and a sense of support and harmony makes this a happy time. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There is much to be said about competition; however, in the place of business it may be better to compete with your own record than that of others. Unless a fair game has been indicated . . . set your own pace. This could be a challenging day—keep the challenges on a level that is manageable. You can set an example for others to follow when you turn difficult situations into solutions that you or others can handle. This may mean you work with the public. A good conversation with those you love is possible this evening. You may have missed being outside lately but if weather permits, you and your family might bundle up and go on a discovery walk early in the evening. There could be some good surprises right around the block!

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) The

yester

Yesterday’s Solution

to

INTERNATIONAL CALLS Kuwait Qatar Abu Dhabi Dubai Raas Al Khayma Al-Shareqa Muscat Jordan Bahrain Riyadh Makkah - Jeddah Cairo Alexandria Beirut Damascus Allepo

00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202 00203 009611 0096311 0096321

Tunisia Rabat Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich Geneva Monaco Rome Bangkok Hong Kong Pakistan Taiwan Bonn

0021610 002127 001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411 004122 0033 00396 00662 00852 0092 00886 0049228

Word Sleuth Solution

workday is full of surprises and demands for quick decisions to be made. You do well in processing the information you get. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—someone may be holding back information. You may have to do some reassessing and reevaluating with regard to priorities. Be careful not to overdo or overwork today and think about creating an opportunity to exercise. Others value you for your ability to make practical decisions concerning group issues. You could be solving some public relations problems this afternoon. You have a natural sense of what the public wants at this time. Clear decisions affecting others could be made now. You can create a peace of mind this evening and enjoy the company of a loved one as well. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Today marks the advent of a good time as far as career and social life are concerned. A time of due paying is over; real accomplishment is now possible. You present your ideas and show off your ability to express them to others. Information gained from one person and transferred to another person can be misconstrued. Refer others to the source of your information. This afternoon you may want to talk budget with a loved one. There will be an acceptable plan for future enjoyment. This could mean the purchase of a home, a vacation or future education for a young person. Consider a vacation where you can trade places with some friends or family that may be living outside of your state. Trading a home is a thought for vacation time. Pisces (February 19-March 20) You feel a love of order and law—an appreciation for responsibilities and duty. Problems and obstacles that have previously been confusing, should find easy explanation under your keen examination. Today is as if you have overcome some invisible obstacle and this is making you feel very powerful. You are very motivated to improve all areas of your life. You may be sitting with an elderly person this afternoon and find they light up with interest when asked about some event of the past. They will be pleased that you took the time to listen to what they have to say. This interest usually promotes a feeling that one matters; a good thing. This communication may give you ideas for further plans to help with retired individuals.


TV PROGRAMS

Sunday, January 17, 2010

35

Orbit listings / Show listings AMERICA PLUS 00:00 Lost 01:00 Private Practice 02:00 Grey’s Anatomy 03:00 Cold Case 04:00 The Closer 05:00 Lost 06:00 GMA Recorded 07:00 Inside the Actors Studio 08:00 Law & Order 09:00 Private Practice 10:00 Grey’s Anatomy 11:00 *24* 12:00 The Closer 13:00 Cold Case 14:00 Ally McBeal 15:00 Inside the Actors Studio 16:00 GMA Live 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 One Tree Hill 19:00 The Ex-List 20:00 Law & Order 21:00 Private Practice 22:00 Grey’s Anatomy 23:00 Nip/Tuck ANIMAL PLANET 00:50 Night 01:45 Animal Cops Houston 02:40 Untamed & Uncut 04:30 Animal Cops South Africa 05:25 I Was Bitten 06:20 Animal Cops Houston 07:10 Aussie Animal Rescue 07:35 Vet on the Loose 08:00 Wildlife SOS 08:25 Pet Rescue 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:45 Animal Precinct 10:40 Aussie Animal Rescue 11:05 Miami Animal Police 11:55 Animal Cops South Africa 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Pet Rescue 13:45 The Snake Buster 14:40 Planet Earth 15:35 RSPCA: On the Frontline 16:30 Pet Rescue 17:25 Crime Scene Wild 18:20 Into the Pride 19:15 K9 Cops 20:10 Escape to Chimp Eden 21:10 Planet Earth 22:05 Untamed & Uncut 23:00 Into the Pride 23:55 Austin Stevens Adventures

18:10 19:00 19:30 20:00 21:10 22:00 22:15 22:30 U 23:00

Bbc World News - U Bbc World News - U Reporters - U Bbc World News - U My Country - U Bbc World News - U Sport Today - U Middle East Business Report Bbc World News - U

CARTOON NETWORK 00:15 Out of Jimmy’s Head 00:40 Chop Socky Chooks 01:05 Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends 01:30 Cramp Twins 01:55 George of the Jungle 02:20 Adrenalini Brothers 02:45 Gadget Boy 03:10 Ed, Edd n Eddy 03:35 Class of 3000 04:00 The Powerpuff Girls 04:15 Robotboy 04:40 The Secret Saturdays 05:05 Chowder 05:30 Ben 10 05:55 Best Ed 06:20 Samurai Jack 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 08:00 Skunk Fu! 08:25 Chop Socky Chooks 08:50 Chowder 09:15 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:40 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 10:05 Batman: The Brave and The Bold 10:30 Chop Socky 60 11:30 The Secret Saturdays 11:55 Best Ed 12:20 Eliot Kid 12:45 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 13:10 Megas XLR 13:35 Samurai Jack 14:00 Ben 10 14:25 Codename

05:30 Worldview 06:00 World’s Untold Stories 06:30 Eco Solutions 07:00 Cnn Business Traveller 07:30 World Sport 08:00 World Report 08:30 Best Of Backstory 09:00 World Report 09:30 Cnn Business Traveller 10:00 World Report 10:30 World Sport 11:00 World Report 11:15 Cnn Marketplace Middle East 11:30 News Special 12:00 Political Mann 12:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Global Edi 13:00 Larry King 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World’s Untold Stories 15:30 Inside Africa 16:00 Fareed Zakaria Gps 17:00 State Of The Union With John King 18:00 World Report 18:30 Eco Solutions 19:00 News Special 19:30 World Sport 20:00 Prism 20:45 Cnn Marketplace Middle East 21:00 African Voices 21:30 Cnn Business Traveller 22:00 World Report 22:30 World’s Untold Stories 23:00 Amanpour. DISCOVERY CHANNEL 00:00 Time Warp 01:00 Mythbusters 02:00 Dirty Jobs 02:55 Brainiac 03:50 Smash Lab 04:45 How It’s Made 05:10 Ultimate Survival 06:05 Mythbusters 07:00 Wheeler Dealers 07:30 Wheeler Dealers 07:55 Street Customs Berlin 08:50 Biker Build-Off

BBC ENTERTAINMENT 00:05 Carrie & Barry 00:35 Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo 01:20 Nighty Night 02:20 Little Britain 02:50 Green Green Grass 03:20 Massive 03:50 Carrie & Barry 04:20 Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo 05:05 Nighty Night 06:05 Canterbury Tales 06:55 Cash In The Attic 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Tweenies 08:00 Fimbles 08:20 Teletubbies 08:45 Yoho Ahoy 08:50 Tommy Zoom 09:00 Balamory 09:20 Tweenies 09:40 Fimbles 10:00 Teletubbies 10:25 Yoho Ahoy 10:30 Tommy Zoom 10:40 Balamory 11:00 Cash In The Attic 12:00 Doctors 14:30 A Year At Kew 15:30 Life In The Undergrowth 16:20 Jane Eyre 17:15 Popcorn 18:10 The Weakest Link 18:55 Casualty 19:45 Casualty 20:35 A Year At Kew 21:05 A Year At Kew 21:35 Life In The Undergrowth 22:25 The Whistleblowers 23:15 Goldplated BBC LIFESTYLE 00:30 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 01:20 Come Dine With Me 03:25 The Restaurant Uk 05:55 Sweet Baby James 08:00 Antiques Roadshow 09:40 Saturday Kitchen 10:40 Coleen’s Real Women 11:25 10 Years Younger 12:15 The Clothes Show 13:00 Saturday Kitchen 14:00 Living In The Sun 14:45 Coleen’s Real Women 15:30 10 Years Younger 16:20 The Clothes Show 17:05 It’s Not Easy Being Green 17:30 Sweet Baby James 19:10 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 20:50 Come Dine With Me 22:55 The Restaurant Uk BBC WORLD 00:00 Bbc World News - U 01:30 Newsnight - U 02:00 Bbc World News - U 02:30 Iran: Guarding The Revolution -U 03:00 Bbc World News - U 03:30 This Week - U 04:00 Bbc World News - U 05:10 The Conspiracy Files - U 06:00 Bbc World News - U 06:10 My Country - U 07:00 Bbc World News - U 07:30 Hardtalk - U 08:00 Bbc World News - U 08:30 India Business Report - U 09:00 Bbc World News - U 09:30 Fast Track - U 10:00 Bbc World News - U 11:10 My Country - U 12:00 Bbc World News - U 12:30 Dateline London - U 13:00 Bbc World News - U 14:30 India Business Report - U 15:00 Bbc World News - U 15:30 Newsnight - U 16:00 Bbc World News - U 16:15 Sport Today - U 16:30 Iran: Guarding The Revolution -U 17:00 Bbc World News - U 17:10 The Conspiracy Files - U 18:00 Bbc World News - U

Drillbit Taylor on Show Movies 1 14:50 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 15:15 The Life & Times of Juniper Lee 15:40 George of the Jungle 16:05 Skunk Fu! 16:35 Chop Socky Chooks 17:00 Robotboy 17:25 Squirrel Boy 17:50 Batman: The Brave and The Bold 18:15 The Secret Saturdays 18:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 19:30 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack 20:00 Megas XLR 20:25 Samurai Jack 20:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 21:05 Ed, Edd n Eddy 21:30 Skunk Fu! 21:45 The Secret Saturdays 22:10 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:35 The Life & Times of Juniper Lee 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Samurai Jack 23:50 Megas XLR CINEMA CITY 01:00 Killing me Softly - R 03:00 Frame Of Mind - PG 05:00 Max - PG15 07:00 Park - 18 09:00 Unspoken Love - PG15 11:00 Kung Pow: Enter the Fist - PG 13:00 Atom Nine Adventures - PG 15:00 Trapped in Paradise - PG 17:00 All She Wants for Christmas PG 19:00 Eavesdrop - PG15 21:00 Outside Sales - PG 23:00 Baghead - PG15 CNN INTERNATIONAL 00:00 News Special 00:30 Cnn Business Traveller 01:00 Best Of Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 02:30 Talkasia 03:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 04:30 World Sport 05:00 World Report

09:45 10:10 10:40 11:05 12:00 17:30 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

How It’s Made Eyewitness Eyewitness Ultimate Survival Industrial Junkie How It’s Made Brainiac Smash Lab Dirty Jobs Mythbusters Black Gold Ross Kemp in Search of Pirates

DISCOVERY SCIENCE 00:40 Sci-Trek 01:30 Mighty Ships 02:20 Race to Mars 03:10 Science of Beauty 04:00 Sci-Trek 04:50 Mighty Ships 05:45 Weird Connections 06:10 Weird Connections 06:40 Patent Bending 07:10 SUV Revolution 08:00 The Kustomizer 09:00 Nextworld 10:00 Robocar 10:55 What’s That About? 16:25 How Does That Work? 16:55 Science of Beauty 17:50 Discovery Project Earth 18:45 What’s That About? 19:40 How It’s Made 20:30 Engineered 21:20 Sci-Trek 22:10 Mighty Ships 23:00 Future Weapons 23:50 Future Weapons DISNEY CHANNEL 00:00 Jonas 00:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place 00:45 Suite Life On Deck 01:10 Fairly Odd Parents 01:35 Replacements 02:00 Phineas & Ferb 02:25 Little Einsteins 02:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 03:10 Handy Manny 03:35 Lazytown 04:00 Jonas 04:25 Suite Life On Deck 04:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:15 Hannah Montana 05:40 Sonny With A Chance

06:00 06:25 06:45 07:10 07:35 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 09:40 10:00 10:30 11:40 12:00 12:25 12:50 13:15 13:40 14:00 14:20 14:45 15:10 15:35 16:00 16:25 16:45 17:00 17:25 17:50 18:10 18:35 19:00 20:35 21:00 21:25 21:50 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Little Einsteins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Fairly Odd Parents Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Pocahontas 2 Fairly Odd Parents Phineas & Ferb Replacements Kim Possible Sonny With A Chance Hannah Montana Jonas Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Fairly Odd Parents Replacements Phineas & Ferb Famous Five Fairly Odd Parents Jonas Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Go Figure Hannah Montana The Suite Life of Zack & Cody The Suite Life of Zack & Cody The Replacements Phineas & Ferb Replacements Kim Possible Sonny With A Chance Hannah Montana

E! ENTERTAINMENT 00:15 Wildest Tv Show Moments 00:40 E!es 01:30 Ths 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 Beauty Queens Gone Wrong 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 Ths 07:45 Extreme Hollywood 08:35 E! News 09:25 30 Most Outrageous Celebrity Feuds 11:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 12:00 E! News 12:50 Sexiest 13:40 Extreme Hollywood 14:30 Ths 15:25 Ths 17:10 Behind The Scenes 18:00 E! News 18:50 Ths 19:40 E!es 21:20 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:10 E! News 23:00 Perfect Catch 23:50 Reality Hell EXTREME SPORTS 00:00 Strikeforce 01:00 Strikeforce 02:00 Fim World Motocross Championships 2009 04:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 05:00 I-Ex Season 2 07:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 08:00 I-Ex Season 2 10:00 FIM World Motorcross MX3 Championships 2009 11:00 FIM World Supermoto 2008 12:00 X Games 15 2009 13:00 Summer Dew Tour 2009 10 14:00 UCI Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup 2008 17:00 X Games 15 2009 18:00 FIM World Motorcross MX3 Championships 2009 18:30 FIM World Motorcross MX3 Championships 2009 19:00 Summer Dew Tour 2009 10 20:00 Wilderness Arc 21:00 The Power Bar Three Peaks Race 22:00 The Edinburgh Rat Race 22:30 The Drambuie Pursuit 23:00 X Games 15 2009 FOX SPORTS 00:30 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Arizona at Oregon 02:30 NFL GameDay 03:00 PGA Tour: Sony Open in Hawaii, Final Rd. Honolulu, HI 06:30 Golf Central International 07:00 The Golf Channel - TBA 09:30 Inside the PGA Tour 10:00 PGA Tour: Sony Open in Hawaii, Rd. 3 Honolulu, HI 13:30 European Tour Joburg Open Final Rd. 17:30 College Basketball Game of the Week: Illinois at Michigan State 19:30 NFL GameDay 20:00 FOX NFL Sunday, time tentative, check local listings 21:00 NFL: Playoffs TBA - time tentative, check local listings FRANCE 24 00:00 News And Magazines - U 21:00 The France 24 Debate - U 21:30 News And Magazines - U MGM 01:15 Belly Of An Architect 03:10 Virgin High 04:40 Castaway 06:35 Some Girls 08:10 Great Balls Of Fire 09:55 Prancer 11:35 Clifford 13:05 Marie: A True Story 14:55 The Man Inside 16:30 The Mechanic 18:10 The Playboys 19:55 The Russians Are Coming 22:00 Popi 23:55 Stigmata NAT GEO ADVENTURE 00:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 03:30 Destination Extreme 04:00 Word Travels:the Truth Behind 04:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 05:00 Pressure Cook 05:30 Lonely Planet 06:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 09:30 Destination Extreme 10:00 Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall

10:30 11:30 12:30 13:30 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:30 18:30 19:30 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:30

Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue Surfer’s Journal Jailed Abroad Finding Genghis Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue Surfer’s Journal Jailed Abroad Finding Genghis Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue

02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:45 11:30 13:30 17:30 20:30 21:00

SKY NEWS 00:00 News, Sport, Weather - U 00:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 01:00 Sky News At Ten - U 01:30 Sportsline - U 02:00 Sky News Tonight - U 02:30 Press Preview - U 03:00 Sky Midnight News - U 03:30 Cbs News - U 04:00 News On The Hour - U 04:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 05:00 News On The Hour - U 05:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 06:00 News On The Hour - U 06:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 07:00 News On The Hour - U 07:30 News, Sport, Weather - U 08:00 News On The Hour - U 08:30 Cbs News - U 09:00 Sunrise - U 13:00 Sunday Live - U 15:00 Weeekend Lunchtime - U 17:00 News, Sport, Weather - U 20:00 Live At Five - U 20:30 Live At Five - U 21:00 Sky News At Six - U 21:30 Sky News At Six - U 22:00 Sky News At Seven With Steve Dixon - U 22:30 Sportsline - U 23:00 News, Sport, Weather - U 23:30 News, Sport, Weather - U

NAT GEO WILD 00:00 Frogs - The Thin Green Line 01:00 Wild Russia 02:00 Gabon: Triumph Of The Wild 03:00 Animal Extractors 04:00 Animal Autopsy 05:00 Grizzly Caldron 06:00 Frogs - The Thin Green Line 07:00 Wild Russia 08:00 Gabon: Triumph Of The Wild 09:00 Animal Extractors 10:00 Animal Autopsy 11:00 Lizard Kings 12:00 Dragon Chronicles 13:00 Chimp Diaries 13:30 Monkey Thieves 14:00 When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs 15:00 Dangerous Encounters 16:00 Rescue Ink 17:00 Lizard Kings 18:00 Dragon Chronicles 19:00 Chimp Diaries 19:30 Monkey Thieves 20:00 When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs 21:00 Dangerous Encounters 22:00 Rescue Ink 23:00 Lizard Kings ORBIT NEWS 1 00:00 MSNBC Countdown w/K. Olbermann 01:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 02:00 ABC World News Live 02:30 NBC Nightly News Live 03:00 ABC World News (Sat) 03:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 04:00 NBC Saturday Today Show 06:00 ABC 20/20 (Sat) 07:00 ABC World News (Sat) 07:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 08:00 ABC World News (Sat) 08:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 09:00 NBC Dateline 10:00 ABC World News (Sat) 10:30 NBC Nightly News (Sat) 11:00 MSNBC Hardball 12:00 MSNBC News The Ed Show 13:00 MSNBC (Fri) Dr. Nancy 14:00 ABC 20/20 (library) 15:00 NBC Dateline (library) 16:00 NBC Sunday Today Show Live 17:00 NBC Meet The Press Live 18:00 ABC This Week 19:00 MSNBC Hardball weekend 19:30 MSNBC Your Business 20:00 NBC Meet The Press (Sun) 21:00 ABC This week (Sun) 22:00 MSNBC News The Ed Show 23:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show ORBIT NEWS 2 00:00 MSNBC (As Live) Investigates 04:00 Newshour with Jim Lehrer (Sat) 05:00 ABC Now Good Money (Fri) 05:30 ABC Now Job Club (Wed) 06:00 ABC Now Ahead of the Curve (Mon) 06:30 ABC Now Nature’s Edge (Mon) 07:00 Newshour with Jim Lehrer (Sat) 08:00 ABC Now Good Money (Fri) 08:30 ABC Now Job Club (Wed) 09:00 ABC Now Ahead of the Curve (Wed) 09:30 ABC Now Nature’s Edge (Mon) 10:00 ABC NOW Nightline Twitter (Mon) 10:30 ABC Now Good Money (Fri) 11:00 ABC Now Job Club (Wed) 11:30 ABC Now Ahead of the Curve (Fri) 12:00 ABC Now Nature’s Edge (Mon) 12:30 ABC NOW Nightline Twitter (Mon) 13:00 MSNBC (As Live) Investigates 15:00 MSNBC Hardball Weekend (as live) 15:30 MSNBC Your Business (as Live) 16:00 MSNBC Live 20:00 MSNBC (rec. 13:00G) 21:00 MSNBC (rec. 14:00G) 22:00 MSNBC (rec. 15:00G) 23:00 MSNBC (rec. 16:00G) PLAYHOUSE DISNEY 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:25 Handy Manny 08:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:15 Imagination Movers 09:40 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 10:05 Special Agent Oso 10:20 Chuggington 10:55 Handy Manny 11:20 Imagination Movers 11:40 Happy Monster Band 11:55 Lazytown 12:20 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 12:45 Lazytown 13:10 Special Agent Oso 13:35 Imagination Movers 13:55 Little Einsteins 14:20 Bunnytown 14:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:15 Special Agent Oso 15:30 Chuggington 15:50 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 16:15 Little Einsteins 16:40 Imagination Movers 17:05 Happy Monster Band 17:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 17:35 Handy Manny 18:00 Chuggington 18:20 Imagination Movers 18:45 Special Agent Oso 19:00 Handy Manny 19:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:50 Chuggington 20:00 Special Agent Oso 20:15 Little Einsteins 20:40 Handy Manny 20:50 My Friends Tigger and Pooh

Street Kings on Super Movies 21:00 End Of Programming SHOW COMEDY 00:00 Friends 00:30 According To Jim 01:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 02:30 The Colbert Report 03:00 Home Improvement 03:30 The Colbert Report 04:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 04:30 The Colbert Report 05:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 05:30 Will And Grace 06:00 Two And A Half Men 06:30 Home Improvement 07:00 Fresh Prince Of Bel Air 07:30 Ellen 08:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 08:30 8 Simple Rules.. 09:00 The Nanny 09:30 Reggie Perrin 10:00 Will And Grace 10:30 Two And A Half Men 11:00 How I Met Your Mother 11:30 8 Simple Rules.. 12:00 Ellen 12:30 Watching Ellie 13:00 Fresh Prince Of Bel Air 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 14:00 Home Improvement 14:30 Reggie Perrin 15:00 Friends 15:30 According To Jim 16:00 Ellen 16:30 Watching Ellie 17:00 Fresh Prince Of Bel Air 17:30 8 Simple Rules.. 18:00 Will And Grace 18:30 Two And A Half Men 19:00 Til Death 19:30 Malcolm In The Middle 20:00 Friends 20:30 According To Jim 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 22:30 The Colbert Report 23:00 Nut Case 23:30 Til Death SHOW MOVIES 1 01:00 April Fool’s Day - 18 03:00 Ce Soir Je Dors Chez Toi - 18 05:00 Drillbit Taylor - PG 15 07:00 Golden Boys - PG 09:00 Barrack Obama: The Man And His Journey - PG 11:00 Blonde And Blonder - PG 15 13:00 All Hat - PG 15 15:00 Barrack Obama: The Man And His Journey - PG 17:00 Blonde And Blonder - PG 15 19:00 Crossing Over - PG 15 21:00 Cadillac Records - 18 23:00 Knocked Up - 18 SHOW MOVIES 2 01:00 Easy Rider - 18 03:00 Guilty Hearts - PG 15 04:45 Je Crois Que Je L’aime - PG 15 06:30 The Secret Garden - PG 08:15 Are You Ready For Love - PG 10:00 Phoebe In Wonderland - PG 12:00 Under The Same Moon - PG 14:00 Rat - PG 16:00 Phoebe In Wonderland - PG 18:00 Under The Same Moon - PG 20:00 Not Easily Broken - PG 15 22:00 A Few Good Men - PG 15 SHOW MOVIES ACTION 01:00 Tailor Of Panama - 18 03:00 Princess Mononoke - PG 15 05:30 The Disappeared - 18 07:30 Termination Point - PG 15 09:00 The Glass House - PG 15 11:00 Elsewhere - 18 13:00 Nitro - PG 15 15:00 The Glass House - PG 15 17:00 Elsewhere - 18 19:00 Wilderness - 18 21:00 The Kingdom - 18 23:00 Rec - R SHOW MOVIES COMEDY 00:00 Margot At The Wedding - PG 15 02:00 The Odd Couple 2 - PG 15 04:00 Born In East L.a. - PG 15

WWE ECW Bushido WWE Bottomline WWE SmackDown! WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottomline WWE ECW WWE SmackDown! NCAA Basketball Live PGA European Tour UFC - The Ultimate Fighter NFL Game Day Live NFL

06:00 First Sunday - PG 15 08:00 The Odd Couple 2 - PG 15 10:00 Slap Shots 3 - PG 12:00 Home For The Holidays - PG 14:00 Curly Sue - FAM 16:00 Slap Shots 3 - PG 18:00 Home For The Holidays - PG 20:00 Lee Evans Big: Live At The O2 - PG 15 22:30 The Moguls - 18 SHOW MOVIES KIDS 00:00 Christmas In Wonderland - PG 01:45 Taina - Uma Aventura Na Amazonia - PG 03:30 That Darn Cat - PG 05:15 Soccer Dog - PG 07:00 That Darn Cat - PG 08:15 Christopher’s Dream - FAM 10:00 Tony Hawk: Boom Boom Sabotage - FAM 11:15 Snowglobe - PG 13:00 Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus - FAM 14:30 Legend Of The Titanic - FAM 16:00 Taina Ii - PG 17:30 Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus - FAM 19:00 Tony Hawk: Boom Boom Sabotage - FAM 20:15 Snowglobe - PG 22:00 Legend Of The Titanic - FAM 23:30 Taina Ii - PG SHOW SERIES 00:00 House 01:00 Life 02:00 Law And Order: Criminal Intent 03:00 Survivor: Samoa 04:00 Law And Order 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 House 07:00 24 08:00 Saving Grace 09:00 Survivor: Samoa 10:00 Law And Order 11:00 24 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Life 14:00 Law And Order: Criminal Intent 15:00 Saving Grace 16:00 House 17:00 Survivor: Samoa 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Law And Order 20:00 Doctor Who 21:00 C.s.i. Miami 22:00 24 23:00 Saving Grace SHOW SPORTS 1 01:00 Premier League 15:00 Premier League Classics 15:30 Futbol Mundial 16:00 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 16:30 Live Premier League 18:30 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 19:00 Live Premier League 21:00 Premier League 23:00 Live Portuguese Liga SHOW SPORTS 2 01:00 Premier League 03:00 Premier League World 03:30 Live Test Cricket 10:30 Premier League World 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 Barclays Premier League 13:30 Barclays Premier League 15:30 Premier League World 16:00 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 16:30 Live Premier League 18:30 Live Toshiba Super Sunday 19:00 Live Premier League 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Premier League World 22:00 Live Snooker Masters SHOW SPORTS 3 01:30 PGA European Tour 06:00 Gillette World Sport 06:30 Premier League World 07:00 Premier League 09:00 Live Test Cricket Hightlights 11:00 European Tour Weekly 11:30 Live Test Cricket 18:30 Gillette World Sport 19:00 European Tour Weekly 19:30 PGA European Tour SHOW SPORTS 4 00:00 UFC Fight Night

SUPER COMEDY 00:30 The Jay Leno Show 01:30 SNL 2009-2010 03:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 03:30 Late Night Show With Jimmy Fallon 04:30 Jimmy Kimmel Live 05:30 The Jay Leno Show 06:30 The Simpsons 07:00 Frasier 07:30 Two And A Half Men 08:00 The Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 09:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live 11:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 11:30 Frasier 12:00 The Simpsons 12:30 Two And A Half Men 13:00 The Jay Leno Show 14:00 The Tonight Show With Conan O’ Brien 15:00 Late Night Show With Jimmy Fallon 16:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live 19:00 The Simpsons 19:30 Drew Carey Show 20:00 Curb Your Enthusiasm 20:30 Two And A Half Men 21:30 SNL 2009-2010 23:00 Weeds 23:30 Jimmy Kimmel Live SUPER MOVIES 01:00 How the Garcia Girls Spent their Summer - R 03:00 Street Kings - PG15 05:00 Heights - PG15 07:00 The Memsahib - PG 09:00 Music and Lyrics - PG 11:00 Speed Racer - PG 13:00 Justice League: The New Frontier - FAM 15:00 Futurama: Beast with a Million Backs - PG 17:00 American Violet - PG 19:00 Jindabyne - PG15 21:00 The Dark Knight - PG15 23:00 Phantom Punch - 18 TCM 00:35 The Screening Room 01:05 Coma 03:00 The Year of Living Dangerously 05:00 The Screening Room 05:30 Coma 07:25 The Screening Room 08:00 Gone with the Wind 11:35 Silk Stockings 13:30 Hearts of the West 15:10 Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm 17:15 Man of La Mancha (1972) 19:30 Canadian Bacon (1995) 21:05 The V.I.P.s 23:00 Fun With Dick and Jane (1977) THE HISTORY CHANNEL 01:30 Mega Disasters 02:20 The Universe 04:00 The Tech Effect 04:25 Hubble, 15 Years of Discovery 05:50 Beyond The Moon: Failure Is Not An Option 2 07:30 Mega Disasters 08:20 The Universe 10:00 The Tech Effect 10:25 Hubble, 15 Years of Discovery 11:50 Beyond The Moon: Failure Is Not An Option 2 13:30 Mega Disasters 14:20 The Universe 16:00 The Tech Effect 16:25 Hubble, 15 Years of Discovery 17:50 Beyond The Moon: Failure Is Not An Option 2 19:30 Mega Disasters 20:20 The Universe 22:00 Evolve 22:55 How the Earth Was Made 23:50 Warriors THE STYLE NETWORK 00:00 Dr 90210 - PG 15 01:00 Clean House - PG 02:00 My Celebrity Home - FAM 03:00 How Do I Look? - PG 03:50 Split Ends - PG 04:40 Clean House - PG 05:30 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? - PG 06:20 Glow - FAM

Star listings (UAE timings) Star Movies 16:00 American Idol 17:00 American Idol 19:00 Australia’s Next Top Model 20:00 Kyle XY 21:00 American Idol 00:00 Asia Uncut 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 7th Heaven 03:00 American Idol 08:00 Australia’s Next Top Model 09:00 How I Met Your Mother 09:30 The Bold And The Beautiful 10:00 7th Heaven 11:00 Bones 12:00 [V] Tunes 13:00 Asia Uncut 14:00 The Simpsons 14:30 The King Of Queens 15:00 According To Jim 15:30 According To Jim

Granada TV 20:45 Britain’s Youngest Mums And Dads 22:00 Revenge TV 23:00 Stars In Their Eyes (Series 12) 00:00 Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Series 2) 01:00 Don’t Try This At Home (Series 1) 02:00 Prime Drama: Prime Suspect (Series 5) 03:45 Britain’s Youngest Mums And Dads 05:00 Vroom Vroom (Series 2) 06:00 Coronation Street WEEKEND OMNIBUS 07:30 Airline (Series 5) 08:00 Art Crime 09:00 Nights From Hell 10:00 The Real Good Life (Series 1) 10:30 The Sunshine Girls

11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00

Resolutionaires * Divas Parkinson (Series 6) Big Bad World (Series 1) The Last Detective (Series 1) Airline (Series 5) Divas Parkinson (Series 6) Big Bad World (Series 1)

Channel [V] 22:00 [V] Plug 00:30 Double Shot 01:00 Loop 02:00 [V] Tunes 05:00 Backtracks 06:00 [V] Special 07:00 [V] Countdown 09:00 The Playlist 11:30 Double Shot 12:00 [V] Special

13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00

The List The Goode Family Keys To The VIP Parental Control Double Bill Backtracks [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Loop [V] Special [V] Tunes

Fox News 20:00 FORBES on FOX 20:30 Cashin’ In 21:00 America’s News HQ Host host Brian Wilson 22:00 America’s News HQ Hosts Kelly Wright and Jamie Colby 23:00 The Journal Editorial Report 23:30 Fox News Watch

00:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 01:00 America’s News HQ hosts Gregg Jarrett and Uma Pemmaraju 03:00 America’s News HQ hosts Rick Folbaum and Juliet Huddy 04:00 FOX Report Saturday host Jamie Colby 05:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 06:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck 07:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 08:00 The Journal Editorial Report 08:30 Fox News Watch 09:00 FOX Report Saturday 10:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 11:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 12:00 FOX Report Saturday host Julie Banderas 13:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera

14:00 15:00 15:30 16:00 19:00

Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck The Journal Editorial Report Fox News Watch FOX and Friends Sunday America’s News HQ

National Geographic Channel 20:00 Masters of Death 21:00 Convoy - War For The Atlantic The Hunt 2 22:00 Reverse Exploration -1 23:00 Situation Critical -Downed Pilot 00:00 Masters of Death 01:00 Convoy - War For The Atlantic The Hunt 2 02:00 Reverse Exploration -1 03:00 Nat Geo Junior -Monkey Thieves : The Great Escape 9 03:30 Nat Geo Junior -I Didn’t Know That : S2-02 04:00 Predator CSI -Whale That Blew

Up 05:00 Shark Nicole 06:00 Across Asia -ShowReal Asia : Trading Faces 07:00 Big Melt -Planet Carnivore : King Bear 08:00 Reverse Exploration -1 09:00 Blowdown -The Miami Job S1-2 10:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Vietnam 2 11:00 Locked Up Abroad -Busted In Bali 12:00 Reverse Exploration -1 13:00 Thailand Special -The Living Edens : Thailand: Jewel Of The Orient 14:00 Microkillers -Ebola 15:00 Adventure Wanted -Climbing Yosemite S1-4 16:00 Masters of Death 17:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest -Dome 18:00 Microkillers -Ebola


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SPECTRUM

Sunday, January 17, 2010

he actress will be named as Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year next month, in a ceremony where she will have to lead a parade through the streets surrounding the prestigious Massachusetts College. The legendary award is given to entertainers who have made a “lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment”. Although it is a prestigious award, Anne may be left embarrassed by what she may have to do to receive it. Last year’s winner Renee Zellweger was persuaded to put on a fat suit while the male recipient James Franco was made to milk a “gay cow” to mark his work in the movie ‘Milk’. Past recipients of Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year award include Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Charlize Theron. Men to be given the male honor include Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Bruce Willis and Christopher Walken. It has not yet been revealed which male star will take the honor this year.

he German supermodel - who has two children, Caspar, six, and five-year-old Clementine, with her film producer husband Michael Vaughn - announced that she is five-and-a-half months into her pregnancy and is due to deliver the tot in May. A thrilled Claudia told Grazia magazine: “We are delighted with the news and can’t wait to add to our family.” The 39-year-old catwalk star - who is one of the world’s most successful models has previously spoken about how motherhood

T

Anne Hathaway to be honored by Harvard University

Angelina Jolie buys her eight-year-old son an iPod

changed her entire attitude to her career. Claudia - who married Michael, 38, in May 2002 - said: “I used to work every single day and travel round the world. I worked weekends, I never took one second off. When I met my husband I said, ‘You know what, this is important. I’m not going to work weekends anymore.’ And when I had kids, I became even more careful. Modeling work is fine because you can do one day here, two days there, you’re never long gone.”

Earlier this week, Brad and Angelina donated $1 million to help earthquake victims on the Caribbean island of Haiti. In a statement the couple, who also run charity The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, said: “We will work closely with our good friend Wyclef Jean to support the humanitarian efforts on the island and help those who have been injured and left without homes and shelter.” Angelina is well known for her passion for good causes, having adopted three of her children from poverty around the world - Maddox from Cambodia, Zahara from Ethiopia and Pax from Vietnam.

he ‘Tomb Raider’ star - who raises six children with partner Brad Pitt - took their oldest child Maddox and his siblings Pax, six, Zahara, five, and three-year-old Shiloh on a shopping spree, where she splashed out on gifts and toys for the youngsters, including youngest children Knox and Vivienne, 18 months. An onlooker said: “One of the store’s employees helped Angelina pick out an iPod Touch for Maddox. “The other children played on one of the kiddie computers while their bodyguard watched them.” After picking up some gadgets, the family moved on to the Disney Store, where she bought more toys, and department store Bloomingdale’s, where the actress treated herself to a few items.

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Cher yl Cole is most photogenic woman ever - who is the face he ‘Fight For This Love’ singer rey Hepburn, Aud beat ucts of L’Oreal hair prod Monroe to the Beyonce Knowles and Marilyn en. A wom ish Brit 0 title in a new poll of 4,00 sioned the study mis com who on, Nik for rson spokespe era, said: “Cheryl Cole to promote their new D300 cam by the nation for her was a clear winner and is loved re.” Others to make natu dly frien looks, dress sense and , Catherine Zetathe top ten included Angelina Jolie Cheryl, 26, has prely. Kel ce Gra Jones, Megan Fox and s a big part in her selfviously admitted that style play infamous David Coma the on confidence. Commenting e while on UK TV show black and metallic dress she wor gested it wasn’t a persug star d ‘X Factor’, the Girls Alou y wheels dress was a bit sonal favorite. She said: “The allo a couple of days later, on it had e of a disaster, but Beyonc at I feel like in a dress is so it can’t have been all bad. “Wh .” look I more important than how

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Kate Moss once dated an Italian prince he supermodel had a passionate affair with the heir to Italy’s now abolished throne - Prince Emmanuele Filiberto Umberto Reza Maria Di Savoia - in 2002. The royal - who lives in exile in Switzerland - was introduced to the supermodel by singer Marianne Faithful when they visited him in Corsica. Prince Emmanuelle, 37, said: “We were together about eight months and she was a fascinating woman, not weird at all. “She came on a yacht to my house in Corsica. She was meant to stay three days but stayed three weeks.” Emmanuele has fond memories of his time with 35-year-old Kate - who is currently dating The Kills rocker Jamie Hince and has a seven-year-old daughter Lila Grace

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he ‘Fantastic Four’ actress has learned to love her imperfections because they remind her of the joy she experienced when pregnant with her daughter Honor Marie, now 18 months old. She said: “Even though some might consider them a flaw, I’ve learned to love my stretch marks. Pregnancy was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. So I’ll take the stretch marks. I’ll take the cellulite I can never get rid of. If you walk around with your head held high and you’re happy and positive, then all that

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Fergie is ‘delig

other stuff is irrelevant. Confidence is number one.” The 28-year-old beauty who is married to film producer Cash Warren - also revealed she hopes to have more children and dreams of settling down with her family in the South of France. She explained to Self magazine: “My mother-in-law has lived there for more than 20 years, and she has a beautiful set-up. I want to be able to allow Honor and my other kids, who I hope to be blessed with in the future, to maintain their innocence for as long as possible.

There is so much time to be an adult.” Jessica loves every aspect of motherhood and says having Honor has helped her to stop being so critical of herself. She added: “Honor is the best cure for stress. When I spend time with her, I get instant perspective. I can be hard on myself if I don’t do everything perfectly. But now that I have her, there’s no time for that. I want to teach her that you can learn from your mistakes, and if you keep moving and stay positive and loving, everything will work out.”

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he Black Eyed Peas singer made a second commitment to husband Josh Duhamel on the eve of her first wedding anniversary in the last week and her mother Terri Ferguson has revealed the service went well. Terri said: “I have spoken to my daughter since they renewed their vows and she is delighted about the ceremony.” She also revealed the couple are happier than ever, adding to website RadarOnline: “They are in charge of their own lives and I’m sure things will be wonderful. From what I heard, the latest ceremony sounded like paradise to me.” Fergie, 34, and Josh, 37, renewed their commitment to each other in a ceremony on a beach in California. A source said: “Fergie was crying and seemed very emotional. “They were both dressed nicely and walked right out to the bluff outside the hotel where weddings often take place. A minister was waiting for them.” Following on from the renewal, the pair had dinner together at the Bacara Resort, where they had the restaurant to themselves.

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from a previous relationship - and even penned a song to commemorate their affair. He added: “I even wrote a song for her with Marianne called ‘The Pleasure Song’, about ways to love. Then our relationship ended because that’s how things go, but I remember her as a very passionate lady. We were young, our roads drifted and we split up.” The prince later went on to marry French actress Clotilde Courau, 40. He also won the fifth series of ‘Ballando con le Stelle’ - the Italian version of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ - last year. The Italian throne was abolished in 1946, although Prince Emmanuele retains the title of Prince of Venice and Piedmont

’ to w rene

wedding vow s

Claudia Schiffer is pregnant with third child

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ch loves her stret ite l u l l e c d n a s k mar


Sunday, January 17, 2010

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Post weight-loss surgery, families help each other odd and Brenda Wallen had visions of sugarplums this past holiday season. But the morsels they selected were bite-sized portions of foods they know they can tolerate. The Wallens of Clinton Township, Michigan, are part of a new group of Americans who have undergone bariatric weight-loss operations. Now, food is a necessity and a choice, not an opportunity to binge. Bariatric surgery reduces the size of the stomach through gastric banding with an implanted medical device or by removing a portion of the stomach (gastric bypass surgery). The procedure costs, on average $17,000 to $26,000, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. In 2008, 220,000 people underwent the procedures, according to the according to the ASMBS. Many patients have dieted for years, and for the millions who have had the surgery they must approach meals with caution to avoid the misery they feel if they eat just a little too much, or if they digest the wrong foods. The most successful become masters in portion control, bringing lessons others can heed in a season of over eating and at a time of New Year’s resolutions. “You find out what you really like and you eat what you really, really want to,” says Brenda Wallen, 53, who underwent Lap-Band surgery in April 2006, six months after her sister did. Todd followed in April 2007. “You just taste it,” she explains. “Nibbles. You skip the rest.” “Two platefuls used to be nothing for me,” says Todd, who now weighs 172 pounds, down from 443. He had a type of bariatric surgery called sleeve gastrectomy, designed for severely obese people.

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Broadway awaits arrival of delayed ‘Spider-Man’ he drawing of a familiar superhero stares out from the double doors of the dark Hilton Theatre on 42nd Street, just west of Times Square. The red-and-blue-clad figure looks trapped inside the building, unable to get out, an apt metaphor perhaps for the show he is trumpeting: “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark,” a $50 million - and counting - Broadway musical celebrating the exploits of America’s most famous web slinger. So far, all the drama has been offstage for what most likely will be the most expensive production in Broadway history for some time to come. The mammoth musical, directed and cowritten by Julie Taymor of “Lion King” fame and featuring a score by Bono and The Edge, was at one time set to begin preview performances Feb 25 with an official opening scheduled for sometime in April. The “Spider-Man” producers have been tightlipped about the show’s status except for an occasional chipper press release announcing the musical is “moving forward” with additional financing under the supervision of the show’s current lead producer, Michael Cohl. He came aboard in November. New performance dates for the show are expected to be announced shortly with speculation about the rescheduled opening ranging from this summer after the Tony Awards in June to next fall. Work on “Spider-Man” stopped last year because of financial difficulties, including an expensive renovation of the Hilton, reportedly to accommodate Taymor’s environmental staging of the show, which would have the action - including some aerial bits of derring-do - swirl throughout the theater. And production, not to mention the financing, have proved difficult to get back on track. The 1,800-seat Hilton is one of Broadway’s biggest and unluckiest theaters. It was cobbled together by Canadian producer Garth Drabinsky from the shells of two venerable playhouses - the Lyric and the Apollo. The theater officially opened in January 1998 with Drabinsky’s production of “Ragtime,” which ran for two years and never made any money. Most of the Hilton’s subsequent tenants have been less than illustrious. Remember “Hot Feet” (the Earth, Wind and Fire musical) and “The Pirate Queen”? And it hasn’t housed a show since “Young Frankenstein” closed more than a year ago. “Spider-Man” the musical has been in the works for more than six years, starting with an announcement about the show in 2004 from producer Tony Adams. He died unexpectedly the next year of a stroke. Adams was replaced by David Garfinkle, a Chicago lawyer, who bowed out of the lead producer slot after financial pressures mounted. No one is speaking on the record about “Spider-Man,” not Taymor, Bono or its cast. The performers include rock singer Reeve Carney as the title character and Peter Parker, his mild alter-ego; Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane Watson, Parker’s girlfriend; and Alan Cumming in the role of Norman Osborn, also known as the villainous Green Goblin. But in a New York Times report of a recent TimesTalk event, Cumming alluded to the show’s financial problems, saying it’s “a really weird, frustrating thing to be waiting.” And the waiting has affected more than the actors connected with the show. Other jobs are in limbo, too. A platoon of backstage personnel will be needed. “Young Frankenstein,” for example, employed 29 stagehands, 15 dressers and 10 people for hair and makeup during its run at the Hilton. Group-sales organizations saw a “SpiderMan” presentation last March, a showcase that featured Taymor, Bono and several singers who performed songs from the musical. “It was elegant, sumptuous. No expense was spared,” said Phyllis Maxwell, who runs her own groupsales company, the Phyllis Maxwell Group. “I thought the show had potential. A lot of our people (customers) have been calling about it. They want to know what’s happening to it.” Added Rick Kelley, Maxwell’s associate, about the musical’s box-office appeal: “People definitely were interested. The problem is that it has been put off and put off and put off, and they are losing interest. But I think tomorrow if they (the producers) came out and said, ‘OK, it’s coming,’ we could sell it again. It’s a family show. It’s big. It’s lavish. And that’s what people want.” —AP

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Family endeavor It’s common for couples or several family members to undergo the procedures. Paul Millard’s 2007 gastric bypass surgery went so well his daughter Chelsea, 18, a freshman in college, and his wife, Cindy, a dental receptionist, also had weight-loss surgery. They both chose the sleeve gastrectomy procedure. The Millards hosted two days of family meals over the holidays - 30 people one day, 60 the next - that included deep-fried turkey, sweet and mashed potatoes and many other holiday dishes. Cindy, who loves to cook, had her surgery in May and acknowledges being “gun-shy about cooking initially.” But as the pounds rolled off - 60 for her and 100 pounds each for her husband and daughter - Cindy grew more comfortable returning to their Metamora kitchen. “Take a saucer plate, the small plate,” advises Paul, who works in Pontiac for General Motors’ Service Parts Operations. He weighed 307 pounds at the time of his surgery. Low risks Most weight loss after the surgery is lasting, with many people reaching maintainable weights 12 to 18 months after an operation, says Dr John Birkmeyer, the bariatric surgeon at University of Michigan who runs the registry with his wife, Nancy, U-M associate professor of surgery. Many are able to stop taking or can reduce blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and sleep apnea medicines, Birkmeyer says. Deaths have been virtually eliminated and complications have been reduced significantly, he says. The surgeries have spawned blogs, cookbooks, support groups and more.

Cindy Millard prepares dinner for two days of holiday gettogethers for her family in Metamora, Michigan. — MCT

“Each operation has its own niche,” says Dr Mark Pleatman, a bariatric surgeon at Doctors’ Hospital of Michigan in Pontiac. Throughout the year he organizes activities, including food-buying trips with a dietitian. “I tell people this isn’t a cure,” Pleatman says. “There are risks. People do have complications.” People need to “eat a small amount and feel full,” he says. Deaths from all bariatric surgery, always rare, are extremely unusual now. They dropped from 0.3 percent in

2007 to less than 0.1 percent for 2009. Lap-Band procedures had the fewest complications. The Michigan bariatric registry shows the progress since 2002, when the death of Detroit City Councilwoman Brenda Scott, from complications of Lap-Band surgery at Port Huron Hospital, drew national attention. Sharing stories A St John Hospital support group organized by

‘Blonde’ bombshell is a hit with London critics egally Blonde: The Musical” has warmed the hearts of London’s crusty theater critics. The stage show, based on the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, tells the story of Elle Woods, a bubbly blonde from Los Angeles who discovers her inner strength at Harvard Law School. The show earned a lukewarm reception on Broadway, where it ran for a year and a half before closing in October 2008. “Blonde” opened Wednesday at London’s Savoy Theatre after a month of previews that saw large, enthusiastic and female-dominated audiences embracing its brand of frivolous fun. Despite themselves, British critics were largely won over, too. “I tried, I really tried to hate this show, but resistance is futile,” wrote Charles Spencer in Thursday’s Daily Telegraph, praising the show as “light, fast, fun and frothy.” “The stage show has its tongue in its cheek throughout, it knows it is ridiculous and infantile, and celebrates the fact with knowing wit,” he said. The Independent’s Paul Taylor declared the musical “ridiculously enjoyable from start to finish,” and a big improvement on the movie. He said the lyrics by Heather Hach were “unflaggingly funny” and the score by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin full of “brassiness, bite, joie de vivre, sheer cheek, and even the odd strain of sadness.”

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The Times’ Benedict Nightingale was another convert, won over by the show as well as the enthusiasm of the audience, who “cheered, whistled and made my cavils seem precious.” The Guardian’s Michael Billington was skeptical - dubbing the show “preposterous” - but still preferred the stage version to the movie. “The plot is pap, the musical unmemorable, the dancing often hefty,” said The Daily Mail’s often-contrarian critic Quentin Letts, although even he acknowledged that some of the lyrics were “almost worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan.” Like others, he saw a new stage star in Sheridan Smith, who plays Elle. Until now Smith was best known for roles in TV comedies including “Gavin and Stacey” and “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.” Besides her singing and dancing, Billington said “Her true star quality lies in a sense of mischief.” Spencer said Smith had “vitality, warmth, great comic timing and sudden moments of touching vulnerability.” The cast also includes Duncan James, a member of boy band Blue, as Elle’s Harvardbound boyfriend, and Jill Halfpenny as a lovelorn hairdresser. The show was a box office hit even before Wednesday’s opening. Critics said they could see the appeal. “Oh my god, I’m like so totally going again,” said The Independent’s Taylor. — AP

the office of bariatric surgeon Dr Abdelkader Hawasli last month drew more than a dozen people sharing stories of successes and frustrations. The participants ranged from the Millards to a woman contemplating surgery who brought two sisters, as well as a new surgery patient still unable to eat whole foods. Patients can’t eat anything but liquids for two weeks before the surgery and several weeks afterward. But many return to normal activities or

work as little as two weeks later. Sometimes, no one knows what they did. Todd Wallen, a truck driver, “told everyone” he had the surgery. His wife, Brenda, “didn’t tell anybody at first.” She discovered she can fill a plate, then request to take it home. Or she’ll discard it. “Nobody will know what you’re eating,” she says. Others, like her mother, a terrific cook, used to say “eat, eat, eat,” Brenda says. “She’s more conscious of it now,” with two daughters having the surgery. “She now asks, ‘Can you eat this’?” There are foods she avoids, like breads and pasta, particularly spaghetti, a real concession for a woman from an Italian family that loves to cook. Brenda, who has lost 100 pounds, has spent her career in the food industry, mostly as a grocery store deli worker. She can’t digest spicy foods, very hot liquids, carbonated drinks and beer, and beef. Todd found out the hard way on Thanksgiving in 2008 when he put “too much on his plate.” He had bad heartburn for a half hour, he says. A typical meal for the couple might be splitting a baked potato and a single chicken breast. They watch recorded daytime soaps during their half-hour dinner meal. Food also was a big part of the Millards’ lives. Paul packed on weight after high school. “I come from a long line of heavyweights,” Paul says, as well as “fabulous cooks,” including his wife. Cindy described herself as “on the heftier side” since high school. Her goal: to be able to cross her legs. She now can. She totes a lunch pack to work filled with fruit, yogurt, protein bars and water. “I had an apple yesterday afternoon and it took awhile to eat it,” she says. How long? “It probably took me three hours to do a big apple.” — MCT

Book review

‘The Swan Thieves’ is a tale of art, love enowned painter Robert Oliver pulls a knife and attacks a painting in the Impressionist collection at the National Gallery of Art. He tells psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, “I did it for her,” and then falls silent for nearly a year. Perplexed - and frustrated - by his patient’s silence, Marlow contacts Oliver’s wife, mistress and colleagues in a search for the woman who drove him to try to destroy the art he loves. Marlow’s search uncovers blackmail, fraud and a mystery answered in the work of French Impressionists. Author Elizabeth Kostova made a splash in modern literature with “The Historian,” her best-selling debut novel about Dracula. “The Swan Thieves,” her much-anticipated second novel, wanders into Dan Brown territory, but lacks the body count found in “The Da Vinci Code.” Instead, she offers an understated, beautifully written tale of art, love and an obsession triggered by both. “The Swan Thieves” also shows the same meticulous historical research and scene-setting description that elevated “The Historian” from a vampire tale to a work of art. “The Swan Thieves” has two parallel plots, one focusing on Marlow and Oliver and the

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Chilled out art A sculptor from Spain works on a piece during the annual London Ice Sculpting Festival in London’s Canary Wharf financial district, Friday Jan 15, 2010. The festival, now in its second year, features five teams of international sculptors that will work against the clock to carve 2x2m blocks of ice into art works in front of the public.

Art pieces are seen during the annual London Ice Sculpting Festival. — AP photos

other on Beatrice de Clerval, a gifted painter in 19th-century Paris. The story lines are connected by a mystery in which clues are hidden in works of art. As in “The Historian,” Kostova’s visual images are stunning. She uses words to paint the pictures crucial to the plot and then carefully directs readers’ attention to background characters, facial expressions and colors important to uncovering the novel’s central mystery. The mental images she evokes in some cases linger longer than images seen in real life. It’s difficult to believe the paintings don’t really exist. Also like “The Historian,” “The Swan Thieves” looks anew at a subject that has become shallow because of its ubiquitousness in pop culture. As Marlow remarks in the novel, Impressionist works are so commonly found on postcards and posters, it’s easy to forget how revolutionary the movement was and the risks the artists took. Just as Kostova made Dracula frightening again, she reminds readers why the Impressionist movement was romantic and rebellious. While most of the book is set in the modern era, the 19th-century passages make it a must-read for lovers of historical fiction. — AP


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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deal near for OʼBrien to leave ‘Tonight’ BC neared a deal Friday with “Tonight” host Conan O’Brien to leave the network, freeing Jay Leno to reclaim the late-night show he stewarded for 17 years, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Top NBC Universal executives and representatives for O’Brien on Friday were close to settling details of his departure, said the person, who lacked authority to discuss the issue and spoke on condition of anonymity. Universal Studios president and COO Ron Meyer was among those involved in the talks, the person said. The focus has been on how much O’Brien, who has time left on

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his NBC contract, would be paid for leaving and what limits NBC may put on his future employment at another network. The progress in negotiations didn’t stop O’Brien from once again hammering NBC in his “Tonight” monologue. “In the press this week, NBC has been calling me every name in the book. In fact, they think I’m such an idiot they now want me to run the network,” O’Brien said Friday. Other late-night hosts, including David Letterman on CBS, have been using their shows to crack jokes about NBC’s latenight mess and the players. On Friday, Leno fired back.

In this 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama (left) appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in Burbank, California. — AP

Bollywood actor Salman Khan (right) draws a sword as actress Zarine Khan looks on during a promotional event of their film ‘Veer’ in Hyderabad, India yesterday. Khan plays the role of a warrior in ‘Veer,’ or Brave, which is set to be released on Jan 22. — AP

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which celebrates its 20th anniversary Jan 31, has rejuvenated itself after traumas that have led to the dissolution of other groups: First, creative differences almost tore them apart, then founding member Moore died after a 2008 accident on an all-terrain-vehicle. “This band now as it is, is in a very new and very dynamic, very encouraged phase,” said Matthews of the group, which had one of North America’s most successful tours last year and is going on a European tour next month. “Overall this last tour was one of the best. The emotional connection and the band and the music that we are making ... is good or as better than we’ve ever sounded.” It was only a few years that the band - Matthews, saxophonist Moore, drummer Carter Beauford, bassist Stefan Lessard and violinist Boyd Tinsley - had frayed to the point where Matthews wondered if there ever would be new music from them.

Ball tour. “I always have very trying weeks in terms of my physical schedule,” she told Winfrey. Gaga also announced that all the ticket and merchandising proceeds from her Jan 24 concert in New York City would go to relief organiza-

op star Lady Gaga has canceled four of her US concerts, citing exhaustion and dehydration. The Grammy-nominated singer, one of the top-selling artists of the last two years with hits like “Bad Romance” and “Poker Face”, pulled out of a show in Indiana on Thursday and on Friday postponed or canceled shows on Jan 16-18 in Connecticut and Atlantic City. “I’ve been crying for hours, I feel like I let my fans down 2nite,” the 23 year-old singer wrote on social messaging site Twitter on Thursday. “An hour before the (Indiana) show, I was feeling dizzy and having trouble breathing. “Paramedics came to take care of me, and told me my heart-rate was irregular-a result of exhaustion and dehydration.” “I am so devastated. I have performed with the flu, a cold, strep throat: I would never cancel a show just based on discomfort,” she added. In a prerecorded appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, broadcast on Friday, Gaga spoke of the demands of her Monster

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US singer LaToya Jackson accepts the “St George’s Great Medal of Gratitude” honoring her brother, late US singer Michael Jackson, inside the Semperoper in Dresden, on January 15, 2010 at the opening of the annual Semper opera ball, in which 2,200 invited people took part. The event is celebrated with thousands of guests inside and also outside the opera house. — AFP

Dave Matthews Band Although the band has sold millions of records and is among the most enduring road acts, frustration was high among its core members Moore, Beauford and Matthews -

In this publicity image released by Harpo productions, talk show host Oprah Winfrey (right) wears sunglasses and holds a hair bow given to her by Lady Gaga (left) after a live broadcast of “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. — AP tions for the earthquake in Haiti. “I worry that young people don’t know enough about what’s going on there,” she said of Haiti. Gaga is scheduled to perform at the Grammy on Jan 31, where she is nominated for five awards including the coveted album of the year trophy. — Reuters

after 2005’s “Stand Up.” Matthews, in an interview in a busy hotel lobby shortly after the release of “Big Whiskey” last year, recalled the frayed emotions that resulted from

years of dysfunction during the creative process. “The things that made the chemistry in our relationship were overshadowed by things that don’t really matter musically to us, and shouldn’t really matter, and possessiveness and ego, and all those things - they’re all real things - get into the middle of what should be a purer, a more purer process, and a more honest process becomes confused,” he said. Beauford does not like to talk about what was wrong: “I feel as though what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.” But he acknowledged that they had communication problems. “I’ve always thought that the band had a solid foundation,” he said. “Again, there’s some peaks and valleys that you have to deal with, and again that’s with everything. You just have to deal with those sort of things.” It was Beauford and Moore who helped the band get through their deepest valley. —AP

‘Precious’ star changed from just ‘random girl’ lashes of fantasy punctuate “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.” The main character, Precious, played by Gabourey Sidibe, escapes the bleakness of her life - an urban nightmare of sexual abuse, physical abuse, illiteracy and poverty - by imagining herself a movie star, beaming at flashbulbs on the red carpet. That fantasy may be Precious’ delusion, but it’s Sidibe’s reality. Before starring in the film and garnering accolades that will likely take her all the way the Oscars, the 26-year-old was a selfdescribed “random girl from Harlem” with no acting aspirations and no expectations beyond a “mediocre” life. Sidibe (who goes by “Gabby”) is not Precious - not by a long shot. She is bubbly, intelligent and fun. But her sudden fame is nearly as unlikely as Precious’ daydreaming.

night show, which premiered last September, got its cancellation notice Sunday. Leno had reigned as ratings champ as host of “Tonight” but drew disappointing ratings with his experiment in prime time. As a fix, NBC wanted to put Leno at 11:35 pm EST (0435 GMT) in a half-hour edition and push O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” to 12:05 am (0505 GMT). But O’Brien rejected the idea, saying he hadn’t been given the necessary time or support to establish himself as host. Fox executives have expressed their admiration for O’Brien but said they haven’t taken steps to create a late-night show for him. — AP

Lady Gaga cancels four shows, cites exhaustion

Grammy nods sweet reward after tragedy lthough the Dave Matthews Band’s many achievements include a Grammy Award, getting a trophy has never been the focus of the group, which has blazed an independent path from the pop music mainstream. It still is not. This year, however, even front man Dave Matthews is feeling emotional over their two nominations for “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King,” including album of the year, perhaps the Recording Academy’s most prestigious award. “I live in my own tree, and I’m pretty out of touch with a lot of what’s going on - the mechanics that’s going on with the Grammys and the industry in general,” said Matthews in a phone interview last month. “But to get that was a real thrill for me ... because of what the album meant to us and because (of) the loss of LeRoi (Moore) and because of the love that we put into making this.” The Grammy nominations underscore how the band,

“Even Dave Letterman is taking shots at me, which surprised me. Usually he’s just taking shots at the interns,” Leno said, a reference to the CBS host’s admission last year that he had affairs with women who worked on his show. Letterman and Leno had vied for “Tonight” after longtime host Johnny Carson retired in 1992, and Leno won the hard-fought contest. O’Brien landed “The Tonight Show” gig after successfully hosting “Late Night,” which airs an hour later, since 1993. But after debuting last May, he quickly stumbled in the ratings race against Letterman. Leno’s prime-time week-

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In this photo, actress Gabourey Sidibe from the film, “Precious,” is shown in New York. — AP “It’s too freaky, it’s too surreal,” Lee Daniels, director of “Precious,” says. “It still affects me that America and Hollywood - the world - has embraced Precious and she’s walking on the red carpet. The first time it happened, I literally broke down crying at Cannes.” But there

she is on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” chatting with Regis Philbin, accepting an honor for breakthrough performance at the National Board of Review Awards . “There’s more of me in the world than there are of Reese Witherspoon,” says Sidibe, “but that’s not reflected at these events. So I’m doing it for the rest that are like me. I’m doing it for those people.” A lot of regular people, if they were thrust into such a role, would have difficulty handling it, but Sidibe has looked very much like she belongs. At the NBR Awards, she ended her acceptance speech by confidently announcing, “George Clooney, let’s get a drink.” “I don’t try to live up to the standards of Hollywood or any of that,” she says. “I know that I’m different and I celebrate it. In a weird way, I kind of really, really love being the alien in the room. I dig it.” —AP

Cowell departure another shock to weakening ʻIdolʼ ith Simon Cowell’s days numbered and Paula Abdul already gone, this season is shaping up to be the end of an era for the nation’s most-popular show, the Fox Network’s “American Idol.” Really, however, when it comes to living up to its title and creating superstar acts that captured the imagination of millions, the power of “Idol” has been ebbing for years. While it produced mutliplatinum sensations in its earlier days, starting with Kelly Clarkson and ending with Carrie Underwood, recent “Idol” winners or runners-up have not had similar chart success. Kris Allen, last year’s champion, has sold about 200,000 copies of his debut album. And while his “Idol” runner-up, Adam Lambert, proved to be more popular and controversial, even his debut has not stayed at the top of the charts for long. “When you start thinking about ‘American Idol’ as a place that feeds the music business, it’s not as much as people think it is,” said Howard Benson, who produced the first two CDs for “Idol” finalist Chris Daughtry’s multiplatinum band, Daughtry. “It’s fallen off.” Of course, “fallen off” is relative when you are talking about a show that has been the undisputed ratings champion since it debuted in 2003. It has produced millions and millions in album sales, Grammy Awards, even an Oscar winner in Jennifer Hudson, who is also a Grammy winner and successful recording artist. Even the also-rans of “Idol” have managed to parlay career success after an “Idol” stint. Simon Cowell “It is by far still the mostwatched show on TV - even more watched in some years than the Academy Awards and the Grammys or anything like that” says Ann Donahue, senior editor at Billboard magazine. “But actually translating those people who watch the show into buying albums remains difficult. Like the rest of the music industry, “Idol” is battling a decline in music sales. But even taking that into account, the drop-off in sales and buzz for “Idol” winners is telling. When Clarkson became the show’s first winner in 2003, her album, “Thankful,” debuted at No 1, sold a healthy 297,000 copies and included hits like “A Moment Like This” and “Miss Independent.” It went on to sell 2.7 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The next year, champ Ruben Studdard sold 1.8 million and had the hit “Sorry 2004.” Clay Aiken, that year’s runner-up, did even better, selling 2.7 million copies of his CD, “Measure of a Man.” Studdard was followed by Fantasia, whose “Free Yourself” also sold 1.8 million and had the R&B hit “Free Yourself.” Underwood established herself as the show’s most successful winner - her country debut sold nearly 7 million copies with major crossover hits like “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats.” The next winner, Taylor Hicks, was a major disappointment, selling 700,000 copies of his selftitled debut. Jordin Sparks followed with a platinum self-titled debut CD and hit songs, while David Cook had a platinum CD, also self-titled but without the hits. —AP

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SPECTRUM

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Armani says will never sell empire

iorgio Armani will never sell his fashion empire and has no plans to hand over any of his workload, the 75-year old designer was quoted as saying yesterday as his autumn/winter fashion shows kicked off. Armani-whose business is worth around $2.4 billion a year in sales-has recently delegated more responsibility to non-family members and last month said “there comes a time when you must hand it over.” That added to speculation about his health since a bout of hepatitis left him frail last year, and Armani himself has kept investors guessing on the future of the company, at times hinting at a bourse listing and at

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39 other times signaling he could sell. “I will never sell because I don’t need to and I don’t want to,” he told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper in an interview published on the day of the autumn/winter menswear show for his Emporio Armani line. “And I’m not stepping aside either, as long as I can, touch wood, keep up this pace,” he added. “I don’t give a damn about a super-golden pension, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.” The white-haired designer who started his own collection over 30 years ago is one of the best-known designers in the global fashion industry and his business also takes in interior design, hotels and perfumes.

“This is my life, I don’t have any other and I don’t want any other. If I could, the only thing I would change is my age,” he told Corriere della Sera. Armani told the newspaper that the hotel he designed in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, was “a special thing ... a sort of monument to what I have done in my life.” The hotel spans 36 floors and includes five restaurants, Armani said. The Burj Khalifa opened on Jan 4. It was developed by Emaar Properties - a venture 31.2 percent owned by the Dubai government, which is struggling with a huge debt pile. Armani has a joint venture with Emaar to develop hotels worldwide. — Reuters

Men in black

Radel Sanchez is seeing a decline in demand for high-end western wear, such as this Lucchese alligator hide boot priced at $1,499, at his store in Cicero, Illinois. — MCT

Models display creations as part of Costume National Homme FallWinter 20102011 Menswear collection yesterday during the Men’s fashion week in Milan. — Photos by AFP

Western wear dying with its boots on he $5,000 chinchilla cowboy hats and $1,500 baby-alligator boots, now gathering dust, tell a story of good times gone bad. In the best days, many Mexicans from small towns grabbed their slice of the American dream not with sports cars but with high-priced Western wear that were upgrades from the tattered clothes they grew up in. But now an economy in which Mexican immigrants could easily earn good money, with or without legal work visas, is being transformed because of the implosion of industries such as construction and tougher immigration enforcement. The clothing retailers that rode this boom are teetering because their Mexican clients are out of work or afraid of being deported. The Tony Lama boots are being sold at a loss, marked half off, while polyester coats are selling better than the high-end suede versions. This fancy garb always held deep meaning for Mexican newcomers, said Rich Alcala, president of the venerable Alcala’s Western Wear on West Chicago Avenue in Chicago. The immigrants often grew up among the horses and cornfields, so the ranch wear is functional, not a costume, he said. Even when traversing Chicago’s urban and suburban environments, their clothes were a taste of home. “Many people in Mexico aren’t going to be able to afford a nice Stetson hat,” Alcala said. “So when they get here, get settled, get a job, they want to get rid of those crappy boots and get themselves the best they can afford. “It’s a sign of status, that they’ve made it.” During a building boom fueled by easy loans and low interest rates, many Mexicans found construction jobs at every turn, often landing overtime pay. After a share of the paychecks had gone to Mexico, many would unwind by donning their best Western clothing to dance in sprawling banquet halls. Raudel Sanchez worked 20 years in meatpacking before he opened his first Western store in Back of the Yards in 1985. He got in just as the boom times were starting and eventually expanded his operations to Cicero and Aurora, Illinois. Sanchez said the money was flowing so freely that his store would cash paychecks from construction workers. He’d pay out $1,000 in cash, a quarter of which often would go right back into belts, dress shirts and the like. The four-figure hats would be bought on layaway or a handshake. During the holidays, those workers would buy $200 hats by the half-dozen for relatives in Mexico, he said. Of course, many

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of these paychecks were earned by illegal immigrants who had no official right to work here. For many critics of lax immigration policy, the end of their livelihoods is a welcome development. Last year, the Pew Hispanic Center reported that the unemployment rate for Latin American immigrants in the US is growing at a faster rate than in the general population. That means less disposable income: Money sent back to Mexico from the US in October plummeted 35 percent from the previous year, the largest drop on record, according to Mexico’s Central Bank. A recent report from the Migration Policy Institute said that at the height of homebuilding over the last decade, about 13 percent of immigrants worked in construction, compared with 7 percent of US-born workers. The collapse of that sector is the main contributor to the general economic insecurity among Mexican immigrants, according to merchants and analysts. Israel Godinez, for example, typically used to buy at least one new hat every year around Christmas. This year, he can only browse. “I see a lot that interests me, but I can’t do it,” said Godinez, 30, a roofer from Berwyn. Sanchez has taken his line of $1,500 Lucchese boots off the shelves. There’s no chance they will sell now, he said, although he used to move about one pair a month. Sanchez said he sells other boots, including exotic ostrich or iguana varieties, at a loss to get customers in the door. He sells about one pair of Tony Lamas a week, compared with at least a dozen in the peak years. “Only the cheap things are selling,” Sanchez said. “But we don’t want things too cheap because it cheapens our prestige that is based on quality.” Sanchez has pared staff and is considering renting out an upstairs apartment he uses for his dwindling stock. Alcala, meanwhile, recently added a rack of $50 polyester jackets. “If I didn’t have that rack, I’d really be in trouble,” he said. Rick la Porte, a sales representative for 30 years for Stetson and other high-end hats, said the Chicago-area stores that rely on Mexican customers have suffered the most. Those that diversify their client base, perhaps by attracting women, can survive, he said. Enrique Mendoza, the hat expert at Alcala’s, handled a tattered black cowboy hat that a client had brought in for a $25 touch-up, more feasible than a $300 replacement. “These guys, they always want the best,” Mendoza said. “But the money can’t go for hats right now. It’s going for rent and for food.” — MCT

Italian designer Ennio Capasa salutes at the end of Costume National Homme Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Menswear collection.


www.kuwaittimes.net

Critics choose J

ʻThe Hurt Lockerʼ as best picture

ames Cameron’s “Avatar” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” won the most awards at Friday’s Critics’ Choice Awards, but the top honor went to Iraq war drama “The Hurt Locker” and its directorproducer Kathryn Bigelow. “Locker” was named best picture and Bigelow best director. Accepting the best picture prize, screenwriter-producer Mark Boal said the award belongs to Bigelow “for her singular vision, for her endless inspiration and for never taking no as an answer.” Bigelow had thanked Boal when she accepted the director’s honor, saying, “I stand here really because of one man, and that’s Mark Boal.” “It’s wonderful to have this honor,” she continued, “but the recognition should also go to the men and women who are in the field to this day.” “Avatar” was named best action movie and it collected a heap of technical awards, including honors for cinematography, editing, art direction, sound and visual effects. The “Basterds” cast was the critics’ pick for best ensemble. The film’s villain, Christoph Waltz, was named best supporting actor and Tarantino won for his original screenplay. “There’s really only one group of people to thank,” Tarantino said, “and that’s the actors who actually took it from the printed page and put it up on the screen. My material is not easy. It’s hard. I cannot have dumb actors do my material.” “Crazy Heart” was a double winner, with Jeff Bridges claiming the best actor prize for his turn as harddrinking country singer Bad Blake. The film’s theme, “The Weary Kind,” won for best song.

(From left) Sandra Bullock, James Cameron and Meryl Streep at the 15th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards on Friday, Jan 15, 2010, in Los Angeles. — AP Photos

Paul McCartney (left) and Nancy Shevell

Full list of winners at Critics Choice Awards

‘Avatar’ takes home six awards

Kevin Bacon (left) and Kyra Sedgwick

Marion Cotillard

Mo’Nique (left) and Sidney Hicks

Zac Efron

Cedric the Entertainer

Christoph Waltz (left) and Diane Kruger

Kathryn Bigelow

“Up” won a pair of prizes, too: Best animated feature and best score. There were actually two winners in the actress category, with Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock tying for the honor. Streep said she loved playing Julia Child in “Julie & Julia.” “I’m really, really thrilled because I really love what I do,” she said. “I love to work, and I love food and I love sex. And so did Julia Child. So it wasn’t that much of a stretch.” Bullock, who won for her performance in “The Blind Side,” said she hadn’t prepared a speech, but she used her time at the microphone to honor her fellow actresses and call for compassion for people who are suffering. “We’re all so lucky to be here tonight when so many others are in pain,” she said. “I hope we can all send good love and thoughts and whatever we can.” Jason Reitman, who won best adapted screenplay for “Up in the Air” with co-writer Sheldon Turner, thanked his father, filmmaker Ivan Reitman, calling him “one of the best storytellers I know and ... the person who taught me everything.” “I’m so proud I made this film with you, Dad,” he said. Other honors went to Mo’Nique, who was named best supporting actress for her visceral portrayal of an abusive mother in “Precious”; Saoirse Ronan, who won best young actress for her work in “The Lovely Bones”; and “The Hangover,” which was voted best comedy. “District 9” won for best makeup, “Grey Gardens” was best TV movie and “The Cove” was named best documentary. “Nine,” which came into the contest tied with “Basterds” with a leading 10 nominations, ended up winless. Winners are chosen by members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the largest such group in North America comprising 200 TV, radio and online film critics. — AP

Carrie Mulligan (left) and T om Rothman

Following is a complete list of winners at the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s 15th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, held Friday at the Hollywood Palladium. BEST PICTURE - ‘The Hurt Locker’ BEST ACTOR - Jeff Bridges (‘Crazy Heart’) BEST ACTRESS (tie) - Meryl Streep (‘Julie & Julia’), Sandra Bullock (‘The Blind Side’) BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christoph Waltz (‘Inglourious Basterds’) BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Mo’Nique (‘Precious’) BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS - Saoirse Ronan (‘The Lovely Bones’) BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE - ‘Inglourious Basterds’ BEST DIRECTING - Kathryn Bigelow (‘The Hurt Locker’) BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (Quentin Tarantino) BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - ‘Up in the Air’ (Jason Reitman) BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - ‘Avatar’ BEST ART DIRECTION - ‘Avatar’ BEST EDITING - ‘Avatar’ BEST COSTUME DESIGN - ‘The Young Victoria’ BEST MAKEUP - ‘District 9’ BEST VISUAL EFFECTS - ‘Avatar’ BEST SOUND - ‘Avatar’ BEST ANIMATED FEATURE - ‘Up’ BEST ACTION MOVIE - ‘Avatar’ BEST COMEDY - ‘The Hangover’ BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION - ‘Grey Gardens’ BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - ‘Broken Embraces’ BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - ‘The Cove’ BEST SONG - ‘The Weary Kind’ from ‘Crazy Heart’ by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett BEST SCORE - ‘Up’ (Michael Giancchio) — Reuters

Tracy Morgan (right) and Taneisha Hall

Tom Ford (left) and Julianne Moore

Ivan Reitman (right) and Genevieve Robert


17 Jan 2010